I am a huge stand-up comedian fan and this is not the first show I have seen by the U of M Stand-Up comedy club, but it was the most well attended. I was surprised at how large the turnout was, until I realized that most people were there for something completely different. The show was incorrectly advertised as an improv comedy art tour (which sounds so cool and I hope UMMA does it), and most people were there for that. Nonetheless, when they announced it was going to be a regular stand up show instead, no one got up and left, and when I looked around during the show everyone was still smiling and happy. So I am glad that this “scam” worked out for everyone in the end.

It was a very interesting venue to host a stand-up comedy show (the modern arts wing of UMMA). Surrounded by fancy art which I call high artistic culture, while listening to crude college student stand-up comedy, which I would call low artistic culture, the lowest of the low. Still, I commemorate whoever decided to host the show here because the atmosphere was so much more light-hearted and open than the usual location of The Michigan League.

I appreciated the MC of the show ( I think she is the president of the club) because of her energy. Her jokes before every comedian came on stage weren’t very funny, but her big personality still got the audience in a mood ready to laugh with the comedian coming on stage. She ended the show as the last performer, and her jokes were just like how she MC’d. They weren’t very witty or funny, but her energy, charisma, and animated gestures made it very entertaining to watch. Her performance was basically the thoughts and life of a crazy artist and the synthesis of her performance made me really connect with her story/jokes. I guess it is just a different style of humor than I am used to when seeing stand up comedy shows, one that brings a smile on my face more so than laughter. Her performance stuck with me the most after the show and that says a lot.

The other comics had many different styles some were dryer, some more nervous, some more animated, some self-deprecating, some more narrative, (none that were punny which was surprising), but no one else stood out as much as the MC did.  My favorite jokes of the night was a serial killer joke where I couldn’t really tell how serious the comedian or real life the joke was (Great job on getting me to think you’re a killer David), and a joke about Grindr that had good suspense because of a buildup using the distance of a “nude photo”.

One joke I thought had a lot of potential, but really missed the punch was a long narrative joke about being at a massage parlor. The joke went into detail about the oil and masseuse being too close to his private parts, but there were no sounds or animations which I think were necessary for this joke. A couple of “slurps” “splats” and “EWHs” could have gone a long way.

Ronald McTrump

I am a senior studying business and I have lots of travelling experience in Asia. I am very pessimistic and opinionated about life, but art brings me happiness and I hope my pessimism isn't apparent in my reviews, for the sake of the artists!

One thought to “REVIEW: (F)ART at the UMMA”

  1. I wanted to go to the show but couldn’t make it– though I hope the UMMA does to a touring stand up show!

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