Comedian John Heffron bridges generational gap for Parents’ Weekend

On Oct. 22 Activities Commission's Limelight and Accents succeeded in entertaining students and parents alike by asking comedian John Heffron to perform for Parents' Weekend.

Geneseo's own improv group No Laugh Track Required opened the night with a half-hour set. The group earned good laughs for "Seinfeld" impressions, arguments over Peruvian goat cheese and a black-market-dealing grandfather.

They fared better than the professional opening act Abbi Crutchfield who followed. During the set, she said she hoped the crowd would be dazzled by her girlish good looks, "like [those of] Michael Jackson." Despite her attempts, she struggled to elicit laughter from the approximately 900 students and parents in Kuhl Gym.

As soon as headliner Heffron took the stage, however, he didn't have any trouble making the gym rock, roll and roar with laughter. After the show, he said his act is pretty universal and that he didn't need to shift it too much to cater it to both generations. "If you talk about growing up and family everybody can relate," Heffron said.

He started his set by letting the audience in on some of the dangerous things he did growing up. Heffron said that as a kid he would play on generators, ride off poorly-constructed ramps on his bike, stay out of the house for over 12 hours and of course, he'd never wear a seat belt. He claimed to have gotten away with it because, "Frankly, [his] parents didn't give a rat's ass about child safety."

Parents let out a healthy laugh when Heffron took a shot at fashion stores like Hollister, Abercrombie and American Eagle, saying "I'd like a shirt with a random number on it for no reason!"

Heffron offered advice to the young men in the audience throughout the show. One of his major warnings was, "When you get married, your wife moves in with you." He explained that he was not worried about the ladies because when they reach a certain age, they are handed a book with all of the answers in it.

His victory on season two of "Last Comic Standing" doesn't seem to have gone to his head. He met with No Laugh Track Required before the show. Junior Audrey Schiffhauer, NLTR member, said they talked about improv and how it improves your social skills.

Schiffhauer said the large crowd and space were scary, and that she was nervous about opening for a comedian that's "been on TV." Still, she said that she enjoyed performing in front of such a large crowd. "It's great to know that I just made people laugh. I gave them something to talk about later," she said.

With the exception of a minor glitch remedied by extra time with No Laugh Track Required, the Limelight and Accents coordinators, juniors Dana Besmanoff and Sally Schaefer, said they were very pleased with the event. The audience seemed to love it, especially Heffron's act.

If they didn't, at least Heffron taught them how to play live-action Donkey Kong: Throw a keg down a narrow staircase as your friends try to hurdle it to climb the steps!