CollegeHumor Stars Bring Mixed Reviews

John Fullmer

Diverting themselves from the big state-school college circuit, Jake and Amir of CollegeHumor made the trek up to Hamilton to put on a comedy show in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. Students and community members were excited about the show, braving the frigid night air to line up in droves, anticipating what was expected to be one of Colgate Activities Board’s (CAB) best events of the semester. The performance was unabashedly crude – I saw multiple non-students walk out within the first 15 minutes of the show with disgust on their faces – but it elicited some hearty chuckles from the student body. Overall, their March 6 performance provided an hour of adequate fun in a night otherwise bereft of entertainment.

The show opened with the introduction of the hosts Jake and Amir, who performed a few bits of their own, in addition to introducing the other guests. The two stars rose to prominence through their long-running web series on CollegeHumor, a show that revolves around them playing office pranks on one other. They incorporated many elements of the show in their standup performance, with Jake playing the competent man and Amir playing the loveable buffoon. The audience had a largely lukewarm response to their opener, and the delayed laughs and claps seemed more sympathetic than organic. One was left wondering whether or not Jake and Amir could translate the success of their web series into a standup show and whether the Colgate audience was too erudite to laugh at blatant toilet humor (spoiler: we’re not).

Following the intro was a mystery guest, who was revealed to be rising comedic actor Thomas Middleditch. Best known for his supporting role in the Academy Award-nominated “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Middleditch is now in high demand, with a major role in Mike Judge’s upcoming HBO comedy “Silicon Valley.” While the act started off strong, the rest wasn’t quite up to par, with a series of rambling stories that never quite seemed to reach a punch line and an overreliance on his self proclaimed “gay-southern” voice.

Following Middleditch’s exit, Jake and Amir reclaimed the stage to introduce a novel game called text-chicken. The game supposedly involved them reading each other’s embarrassing text message conversations until the perpetrator called mercy. While the alleged text conversations were blatantly fake,  the situations were so ludicrous that the game managed to get the audience chuckling.

The hit of the show was undoubtedly the performance of comedian Streeter Seidell.  Streeter proved that the audience was perfectly willing to laugh at the most deplorable jokes, provided that they were delivered deftly. Of the four comedians present, Streeter appeared to be the most comfortable in the stand-up medium, as he bantered with the audience and likened the Chapel to the site of the Salem Witch Trials. He also seemed to address the most relevant topics of the night, particularly a bit about the self-righteousness of e-cigarette smokers. Streeter proved that there is more to being a stand-up comedian than being funny, as delivery and topic selection are arts in their own right.

Jake and Amir came on one more time at the end of the performance to lead a game of “embarrassing trivia” for prizes. Contestants had to identify non-gender normative pieces of trivia, such as “Twilight” characters for men and video game characters for women. The idea held great promise, but the execution left a little to be desired, with some slides clearly being outdated.

While the show might have not been a gut-busting adventure at every turn, it still provided a lot of laughs for the audience. Having multiple performers kept the set lively, and most people left the show feeling that CAB had brought in an acceptable act.