Kaysea Suzana | Assistant Entertainment Director
Campus Life sought out to relieve student’s start-of-semester stress with an evening of stand-up routines.
Stand-up comedians A. G. White and Benji Brown took the stage at the Graham Center Ballrooms last Aug. 24 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The event was part of Campus Life’s new approach to directly interact with the student body.
Novianna Milan, coordinator for Campus Life, mentioned the differences between past comedy night events and this one.
“Normally, comedy shows would be held at [the Biscayne Bay campus]. We actually haven’t had one hosted at [the Modesto Maidique campus] in years. Past performances were often directed and initiated by the [Student Programming Council], however, now it’s up to Campus Life to host,” Milan explained.
The last comedy show hosted by the SPC was 5 years ago; and yet, as Campus Life’s first attempt, it proved successful, with over 300 students in attendance that night.
Dr. Yselande Pierre, interim director for Campus Life, expressed shock regarding the high attendance.
“We were very surprised by the turn out. We do see that students want to come out to watch a comedy show,” said Pierre.
Milan mentions why Campus Life ultimately chose the comedy route in looking for activities that excited the student body.
“We hosted a comedy show to gauge what type of comedy students like, and to see if students even enjoy these types of events,” said Milan.
The event began with Miami-based DJ Osocity pumping up the crowd with early 2000’s music and contemporary tracks.
Although the crowd sympathized with White’s upbringing and the parallels he drew between his native Brooklyn culture and the melting pot of Miami, his jokes seemed to have a controversial reception.
The crowd found itself vulnerable to White’s jokes, as some who left or entered late were frequently part of his jokes.
The next comedian, Benji Brown, had brought a more down-to-earth approach, focused on making impressions and conversations between himself and his characters.
(Check out footage of Brown and White’s routines below! Pause to cycle between clips.)
Brown, like White, didn’t stray away from heavier hitting punchlines such as those involving sex, race, gender, class and raunchy humor, an aspect which seemed to resonate with the student audience.
At the end, DJ Osocity played some more tracks while the two comedians prepared for a photoshoot with interested fans in a separate hall.
White responded amicably to the students’ reactions, citing that he felt no disconnect between himself and the local Miamians.
“I felt connected with the people. When you’re from a major city, you’re able to provide voices that city people can identify with,” White said.
Brown commented that he felt comedy was his connection to the audience.
“My repertoire of voices can be captivating, it can be eye-catching. My imagination is my superpower on stage. I can put my characters in any different scenario,” Brown explained.
Overall, the event had a great amount of student interest in it, and although the reception of the jokes seemed to be mixed, students lined up to snap photos with the two performers.
“It’s been years since I’ve been to colleges, man. It was nice to tell jokes to students my kids’ age,” White said.