Student Union Board’s first Spring Comedy Show of 2016 drew a large number of students into Bender Arena on Jan. 27 for a night of laughter and fun. Mike Birbiglia, a comedian recognized for his performances in “Trainwreck” and “Orange Is the New Black” and Vanessa Bayer of “Saturday Night Live” headlined the show. Streeter Seidell of “Collegehumor” opened for the two comedians, bringing his casual sense of humor into the show.
Seidell started the show with a simple series of jokes about New Jersey, eliciting laughs and responses from the crowd and warming them up for the main acts. The comedian then moved on to mocking D.C. for it’s response to winter storm Jonas, saying the District “freak[ed] out” over the large amounts of snow and blizzard threats. However, Seidell then expanded his material to cover everything from the digestive problems associated with McDonalds and the “Douche” cancer that affects those who smoke e-cigarettes. Seidell’s jokes were delivered effectively and perfectly suited his college audience.
Following Seidell, Vanessa Bayer jumped right into her comedy set, impersonating SNL characters and other stand-up comedians. She impersonated a dramatic child reciting iconic lines from “A Few Good Men,” the cast of “Friends” (where her impersonation of the character Rachel Green was awed) and Miley Cyrus. Although her longer jokes started out strong, many waned at the end, and the low point of the show came when the audience sat for three minutes through an awkward attempt by Bayer to make a sex joke. Though she delivered strong one-liners, like those made about Judaism, abortion and innuendos, her set was riddled with experimental comedic moments that fell flat with the audience.
Mike Birbiglia, however, ended the night with a strong finale. Birbiglia transitioned smoothly back and forth between his dislike of people who arrive late, his struggle in the “most socialist of exercises” that is yoga and a hymn about Christ. At one point Birbiglia asked if anyone had been arrested and was astounded when his hesitant respondent said, “I was naked too close to a church.” Birbiglia decided that the man’s public indecency was a “teachable moment” to not participate in dares, but he noted that “comedy was made for people like” him.
For one night Birbiglia, Bayer and Seidell allowed AU students to forget about their worries and immerse themselves into the world of comedy. Their performances rocked Bender, bringing fun and laughter to everyone in attendance.