A SSUCC-y Valentine’s Day

Jeanette Leopold '13 and Sophia Naylor '13 in The MaidsPhoto by Rachel Burger '16
Jeanette Leopold '13 and Sophia Naylor '13 in The Maids
Photo by Rachel Burger '16

This past Friday, Kitao hosted Swarthmore Stand Up Comedy Club for the event A SSUCC-y Valentine’s Day.This event was a SSUCC showcase, of which all of the performers at showcase are current members of SSUCC and attend weekly workshops. Kitao’s comfortable interior created an intimate setting as the gallery was filled by audience members. The night began with coloring and snacks in Kitao.  There was a special appearance from a linguistics professor at Swarthmore Donna Jo Napoli, there to support students from her class, Corporeality in Storytelling. After people were settled in, Simon Bloch ’17, comedian and MC for the night, began by introducing the group and talking about a friend of his who really wanted him to try Molly.
Stories of love, politics, and advice were told as the audience laughed along. Each performance was creative, personal and well received by the crowdt. The comedians took the audience on a journey with their stories and jokes .
“I’ve been fiddling around with humor genres. You know there’s relatable comedy and observational comedy. I’m trying to push the package a little,” said David Levy ’18.
Levy spent most of his set talking about unrelatable, but hilarious topics, a new style of humor he was trying out that was inspired by relatable humor.
Ari Liloia ’20 surprised the audience by using a harp to get into the Valentine’s day mood. The audience loved the juxtaposition of the harp, Liloia’s  romantic gaze into the distance, and the stories he told about conspiracy theory, Tinder, and Reagan.
“When I was little I was really into conspiracy theory, not in the way that little kids are into dinosaurs or outer space, but genuinely afraid,” Liolia shared during his set as he strummed his harp.
“I loved Ari’s, it was so unexpected and absolutely hilarious,” said Jasmine Rodriguez-Schroeder ’17.  
Rachel Hilburn ’19 told stories about her love life, experiences at Swat parties, and posed the question: why do Swat men like their homework so much?
“I like to think of homework as my boyfriend, they’re pretty much the same, they’re usually hard for no reason, I can do them easily on a desk, they never say I love you first, and even when there are discrepancies, I know I’m right,” Hilburn said during her set.
Garret Ruley ’19 talked about his experience trying to make friends in middle school and high school, and why cross country really didn’t help it happen.
“I realized my introversion had run out and I had picked the one sport where the point is to get as far away from everyone else as fast as possible,” Ruley admitted.
Rodriguez-Schroeder spoke about how much she enjoyed the show and appreciated the fact that it was hosted in Kitao.
“I thought it was a fun show to attend with friends, and it was really sweet to even see a professor there! I love how many events Kitao has been hosting this semester, I think it’s a really great  space to have a relaxed but fun Friday night,” Rodriguez-Schroeder shared when asked about the show.
When describing her time at the comedy show Desta Pulley ’19 spoke about how she really enjoyed the performance and Kitao as a venue.
“I really enjoyed the show. I loved the intimate atmosphere, it felt really relaxed and communal which made it more fun for me. I also thought the performers were a lot of fun,” Pulley said.
When asked about the process of preparing for shows, the group explained this process is unique for each performer.
“Some of my first sets I wrote out word for word what I wanted to say but now I just kind of have bullet points and I’ll just free hand and see what the crowd is feeling. I’ll go with the general story and add and subtract stuff,” said Hilburn.
Bloch shared his process for structuring sets, which allows him to incorporate improvisation into his performance.
“I usually have one word for every joke. That prompts me and also leaves room to improvise on the spot,” Bloch explained.
Levy explained how he and other members pick and choose the material for their sets.
“At the end of the day it comes down to the individual. I think some people like to talk about what feels relevant to themselves at the moment,” Levy said.
For the most part, the group has heard a couple jokes shared by each comic as they practice with each other and play with ideas. Nader Helmy ’17 mentioned the group was hearing new jokes with the audience on Friday night, because it’s really common for members to perform new material, sometimes based off of old jokes, at showcases.
Student showcases are a way for students involved with SSUCC to perform in front of an audience on campus. Also, many students from SSUCC travel into Philadelphia to do stand up comedy at local spots to gain experience and work on new material. SSUCC will be hosting another student showcase and an open mix for all students later in the semester.

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