Def Jam comedians entertain students

Comedian Capone gave some unconventional advice to women whose relationships lack a certain flare during “A Night of Comedy” in Blackman Auditorium Thursday evening.

“No more lingerie,” he said. “Put on some pajamas with some feet on ’em. Jump off dressers. Be the man sometimes and dress in his clothes.”

Capone centered his performance around “sex education to the fifth power,” playing to an audience of about 450 students. His act was preceded by Rodney Laney, a “Premium Blend” veteran with experience on MTV’s “Damage Control,” a reality TV series hosted by Pierre Bouvier of pop-punk band Simple Plan.

Capone previously worked as a regular at New York City’s Apollo Theater and has performed with such comedic heavyweights as Michael Epps and Tracy Morgan.

He has also appeared on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” which has featured Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Cedric the Entertainer, and Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” which boasts Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes and Jamie Kennedy as previous hosts.

“I want to make sure everybody has a good time; that’s what I like,” Laney said during his set. “I’m a people person. I like socializing.”

The self-proclaimed “gentle giant” drew laughs by making jokes about his fear of the police, road rage, and growing up in his rough New Jersey hometown.

“We used to get robbed by people we knew,” he said. “It’s my neighborhood’s claim to fame right there: stabbing people in the head.”

Laney asked if anyone thought they could spend the rest of their life with one person, to which one student loudly replied, “No!”

Laughing, Laney shared his views on marriage.

“A marriage license should be like any other license – it should expire,” he said.

After touching on a wide range of topics and being enthusiastically received by the audience, Laney introduced the evening’s next performer. Capone offered a disclaimer about the realness of his material, asking students who were uncomfortable to leave. He then surveyed the audience.

“I like this, it’s a mixed crowd,” he said. “A lot of white people, how you doing?”

Referring to racism as “the stupidest thing in the world,” Capone repeatedly emphasized the importance of being open-minded and enjoying life.

“The bottom line is, have fun,” he said. Life is too short to worry about race, color.”

The light-hearted show couldn’t escape discussion of current events.

Capone discussed the war in Iraq, the tsunami in Sumatra and the effects of Hurricane Katrina. He joked about the silent “t” in “tsunami,” yet stressed that the topics were to be taken seriously.

“This shit is serious. I try to make it funny, but it’s not funny,” he said. “It’s sad shit, but it happens every day.”

The audience responded loudly to Capone’s jokes about sex, drinking and pornography. Despite mocking various ethnic groups throughout his act, Capone left students with a message about accepting diversity.

“It’s not about color, it’s about people,” he said.

At the end of the event, many students raved about the comedians’ stand-up skills. Lowell credited this to their topic choices.

“They were diverse comedians,” she said. “They talked about a wide variety of topics and everyday things that college kids could relate to.”

Simona Sudit, a freshman marketing major, said she enjoyed Capone’s honest approach.

“I thought it was hilarious,” she said. “My favorite part was the second comedian [Rodney Laney]. He told it like it was.”

One of the many Welcome Week events geared toward the incoming freshman class, the show was sponsored by the Council for University Programs (CUP) and the Northeastern Black Student Association (NBSA).

Caitlin Lowell, a showcase chair for CUP, was in charge of planning the event. She said she was hoping to plan a Welcome Week event when she was approached by NBSA. The two groups decided to sponsor a comedy show because of its affordability and draw.

“A comedy show is something that would appeal to most of the incoming freshmen,” Lowell said. “Plus, we didn’t need as big of a name,”

Tiffany Malcolm, a middler criminal justice major and president of NBSA, said the event was also important because it would highlight the non-academic aspects of college.

“Growing socially as a person is just as integral to the college experience,” Malcolm said. “It exposes you to different views. You get to bond with not only the comedian, but with friends and people you don’t know.”

Freshman undecided major Lauren Kryskowski came to the show to experience a night of laughs, in addition to using it as a prime social opportunity.

“We came because we got a free ticket and we really wanted to laugh,” she said. “It’s right around the corner. Plus, it’s a chance to meet my peers.”

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