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Comedy Competition Roars with Laughter

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Comedy Competition

Emcee Whitney Wasson warming up the crowd in the Student Comedy Competition and Muisic Showcase

The university’s funniest students came together for a night of competition to see who is the funniest and can get the most laughs.

The University Program Comedy Committee held a competition for students and former students to perform comedy. There were six comedian acts altogether. Competing were two students and an improv group. Other comedy acts were former students and local comedians. 

The University Program Comedy Committee holds comedy events for students. Once a month they bring in a comedian such as Brooks Wheelan and Kurt Braunohler. Every year in the spring they have a competition to find the funniest student on campus. They also hold open mic nights and improv nights.

The comedy committee is responsible for every aspect of events such as finding performers, advertising events and introducing performers.

“Anyone who comes out to the performance must be willing to laugh and they will have fun,” said Jake Rowlett, member of the comedy committee.

Rowlett explained that the committee had a rough semester and they were worried about the turnout with the snow and having to postpone events, but the turnout for the competition was great and there was a great audience.

“Even small crowds will have a blast and have fun, but the audience has been getting bigger and bigger and will continue to get bigger and bigger,” Rowlett said. 

University Programs Coffeehouse also lent a hand by having two musical performances to help with the flow of the night. Coffeehouse holds open mics, poetry slams, musical events and dramatic performances. 

Coffeehouse Chair Micah Minter said he enjoys going to events like the comedy competition because it gives students a way to show off their talents and express themselves. 

Emceeing for the night was last year’s champion and UA alum Whitney Wasson. She updated the audience about her life since she won the competition last year. She gave fun little insights about college and comedy.  

 First place winner Morty Callen has only been performing stand-up for a month and a half but it was not obvious by his act. He had confidence as though he’d been doing stand-up for years. His comedic start came from doing an open mic night and he said he enjoyed the thrill that came from doing stand-up. The audience laughed at all of his jokes. 

Callen’s encouragement for people wanting to start stand-up is “the stakes couldn’t be lower and the worst case scenarios are not bad at all, and the best case scenario is pretty great.” 

Second place went to the improv group Backflip Club. The group consisted of Hansen Chao, Justin Williford, Bryce Cooke and Grant Hearn. The four are also a part of the UA improv group Laugh Track and Field but since most of the members were unable to perform with them they formed Backflip Club because of their enthusiasm for backflips, explained the members of Backflip Club. 

Cooke explained that the core part of improv is to say “yes” and to just go with whatever happens and make it your own.

“When you are scared everyone knows and when you are confident everyone knows, so be confident and you will do great,” Williford said. 

The four performed a shorter version of their typical 20-minute long-form set for the audience by asking for a suggestion and creating a series of scenes from that. 

“We knew we were coming in as a disadvantage being the only improv group since in the past there has only been stand-up,” Cooke said. 

Local comedian Cambron Clark performed an amusing set where he sat in a chair and read from his book. He told lots of comparison jokes, comparing himself to famous Americans which was a real crowd pleaser.   

Saul Malone, recent UA graduate, performed his stand-up talking about his life after the UofA and living in the real world. He performed last year at the comedy competition for the first time. 

“If you are remotely interested in comedy we do free events and the committee is really fun and if you want to be part, get in touch and have fun,” Rowlett said. 

The comedy committee will host stand-up comedian Olivia Harewood 8 p.m. tonight in the Union Theatre.

For more information about the comedy committee check out their website or email them at UPComedy@uark.edu.

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