Comedy tour cracks up campus

Michael Lewis

Cleveland comedian Nelsin performs on stage Friday night at the Student Center Ballroom as part of the Urban Comedy Tour. The event was part of Cabin Fever Week hosted by ACPB.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Students and visitors from across the state joined cameramen, a light crew, an event staff and local police officers for an evening of laughter in a room wired for sound.

Hundreds packed into Student Center Ballroom Friday night to check out the Urban Comedy Tour, a group of four black comedians.

The event, sponsored by the All Campus Programming Board, wrapped up Cabin Fever Week 2005. The evening featured Kent State graduate Pee Wee Dee, as well as comedians Rob “Sugar” Allen, Mo’ Payne, Nelsin and the DJ Lo-Key.

Shauniece Gibson, event coordinator and senior business management student, said you cannot beat four comedians, a host and a DJ for free on a Friday night.

“I wanted to find stuff the Kent State students would enjoy that would be fun and free,” Gibson said. “Students spend enough money.”

The evening opened up with Maniac, of Mafia Records, singing “Ain’t No Love Without the Glove.” Not less than 30 minutes later, the first comic, Nelsin, decided to take his clothes off and don his budding “flower” costume, an outfit of white dancing tights.

“You have to be comfortable with your body,” Nelsin said. “I like to find an outrageous way to end my show.”

Payne, Ohio Comic of the Year, took the stage after Nelsin.

Payne will be a participant in an upcoming MTV reality show in New York, and filming begins March 3.

He is a freestyle comic who said he has no clue what is going to come out of his mouth.

Dee, who graduated from Kent State in 2001 with a degree in criminal justice, said he really appreciates the students. Dee coined the phrase “meritocracy,” as he explained the order in which the comics present their material. Usually the weakest, or least accomplished, comic goes first.

“It’s hard to propose a black act when you’re dealing with an institution,” Dee said. “To come to a university of this caliber, it’s an honor and a blessing to be here.”

The last comic, “Sugar” from Def Comedy Jam, has been banned from some television programs.

He said getting to the next level, the “Jamie Foxx level,” is the most difficult part of the industry.

“My message is about the little things in the back of your head that people don’t talk about,” “Sugar” said. “I keep it real.”

Kent State students Fred Lewis, a junior physical education major, and Tremain Fields, a senior justice studies major, said the comedians were “funny as hell.”

“People have been walking around all stressed out,” Lewis said. “They need to turn that frown upside down.”

Becky Lorson, a junior psychology major, said the atmosphere was good.

“I hope they come back and do it again,” Lorson said. “It was a good time.”

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Michael Lewis at [email protected].