Comedians Poke Fun at Claremont Colleges

Acclaimed comedians Doug Perkins, Alice Wetterlund, Sean O’Connor (CONAN, MTV Music Awards) and Andy Haynes (CONAN, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) swaggered into the dim lights of Doms Lounge Saturday. The event was hosted by students Ellie McElvain SC ’13 and Pedro Salinas PO ’13 of the 5C Late Night Stand-Up Comedy club. 

Throughout the acts, the comedians were able to keep the audience going with a range of material, throwing in quite a few well-received jabs at the Claremont student lifestyle. When an audience member said that he was undecided about his major, Haynes replied, “Well, I guess you’re paying $50,000 just to hang out.”

Though the Claremont material was largely based on well-known oddities and echoed familiar lunch-table critiques, the delivery was excellently timed.

“I thought his jokes of 5Cs were especially funny,” audience member Blair Crossman PO ’16 said. “The Pomona material made it a much more targeted performance. The best part was to be able to laugh at ourselves with them.”

All the comedians engaged superbly with the audience, encouraging participation and call-outs while still making benign jabs at stray comments and coughs in appropriate stand-up style.

“College kids are silly, love laughing, and are usually smart—usually,” Wetterlund said. “Lots of more complex stuff works at a college. Also, they never heckle, because they are so used to lectures. It’s a win-win.”

Haynes said, “Younger, smarter audiences will let me play around a lot more than a club audience. I will also try weirder, more bizarre material, just ‘cause I can.”

The two comedians also offered advice for those contemplating entering the world of comedy from college. Haynes, who only participated in stand-up comedy in his senior year of college, said that comedy can be difficult at first.

“Most of my notable experiences were just awkward,” Haynes said. “Comedy is one of those things that really fits in the 10k hours category. I was just bad at comedy for a good two or three years.”

Wetterlund said that it is important to complete college.

“A lot of young comics I talk to think they need to leave school to do comedy, which is great if you’re going to be the next [Louis] C.K. or something, but odds are, you’re not,” Wetterlund said. “I say stay in school and get involved in an improv group or sketch group or something, and make sure it’s what you really want to do. I’d say I benefited from starting comedy after having become a real person first, and education is a key part of that.”

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