This past Saturday night, acclaimed comedian Rip Michaels entertained students at the KnightSpot, where his refreshing views on relationships and social idiosyncrasies kept the audience in stitches.
Concurrent with his many jokes about dating and individual relationship statuses from the audience, Michaels catered to the college student crowd by infiltrating his work with references to poking people through Facebook and other such awkward but telling Internet functions.
Michaels's material also focused largely around identifying ethnic stereotypes and poking fun at them. Instead of heightening the ignorance, he enabled the crowd to laugh at some of the most extreme differences with an air of definitive tolerance and acceptance. He valiantly pointed out when white students were afraid to laugh at jokes that involved black students, pushing the envelope for some and making it explicitly clear that differences are represented best when embraced rather than ignored.
Freshman Hilary Jarmusz said her favorite part of the show was when Michaels asked the crowd to choose which race had the most disciplinary upbringing relative to their races and religions. He then asked for everyone's opinion of which ethnic group had the most physically reprimanding childhood, allowing volunteers to reminisce over their parents' favorite mediums, or household objects, of such disciplinary action. Many responded with sarcastic triumph, as responses grew increasingly unconventional. The audience bonded over their many shared tribulations, though at moments it was difficult to tell whether laughs were due to genuine enjoyment or sheer discomfort.
Reviews after the show, however, indicate that it was predominantly the former. Freshman Carly Feiner, for example, said it was a "good way to spend a Saturday night" and that Michaels was "very witty."
Freshman Gabrielle Kerman said she "liked the Jewish comedy and wanted more."
Michaels' social commentary did not stop with race, however, as he extended his analysis to incorporate the many double standards that exist between men and women. Some of the routine was oddly reminiscent of Dane Cook's "I just wanna dance" skit, but otherwise he provided a refreshing take on societal gender inequalities, like the notion that women have to be a size zero to be considered attractive.
Later, he asked male students what they had done that day that made them manly. When the crowd was overcome with silence he said, "That's right, because doing nothing is manly." He ended solidly with many a fart and booger joke, adding a juvenile edge to the humor, which still somehow kept the crowd laughing.
Overall, Michaels' take on common eccentricities was a crowd-pleasing hour that left the audience satisfied.