Weeks of Welcome comedy show successfully inducts freshmen

The Student Government Program Board opens up the fall semester with two big names in comedy.

Kaylee Mackool, Contributing Writer

CLvLJnIWcAUpVDD (1)Florida Atlantic’s first comedy show of the fall kicked off with Orny Adams of “Teen Wolf” and headliner Judah Friedlander of “30 Rock” in the Barry Kaye Auditorium on Aug. 15, as a part of Weeks of Welcome (WOW) – a week filled with on-campus events for students to have a good time and learn about the university.

Both comedians have reputations from their work in television, but students may have recognized Adams for another reason: he appeared at FAU last year on Nov. 22nd.

When Orny was here in November, the date conflicted with a lot of events and the turnout was not representative of his talent,” said Program Board Director Jacob Sherbondy when asked about the repeat performance. “Because of this we decided he would be the perfect candidate to bring back to FAU to open up for Judah Friedlander. Orny is a fantastic comedian and we really want to showcase his talents to the student body.”

As a result of the enthused turnout on Saturday night, Adams’ talents were duly showcased, along with Friedlander’s. Attendees were milling in the Student Union in wait, as early as 20 minutes before the show was set to start at 8 p.m.

The seating in Kaye Auditorium, which seats 2,400 people, was nearly half-filled. Prior to the show, Sherbondy commented that the Program Board expected approximately 1,500 people in the audience on Saturday night.

Students seemed anxious to be seated, with several false starts of the crowd drawing nearer to the entrance only to be met with closed doors.

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 4.24.38 PMAfter the doors opened around 8:10 p.m., students filed in and seated themselves only to wait until 8:45 p.m. for the introduction to the show to begin.

The Program Board showed several video previews of upcoming FAU events to varying amounts of entertained applause and hoots. The audience was filled with impatient fidgeting and chatter until Adams finally took the stage at 8:55 p.m.

Immediately after taking the stage, the comedian had students shouting with laughter.

“I’ve never seen such shitty videos in my life!” Adams nearly screamed into the microphone only a moment after taking the stage, commenting on the Program Board advertisements that delayed his entrance.

“Weeks of Welcome bullshit. It’s called orientation,” he went on to grumble, to the delight of the students in the crowd.

He requested that all the freshmen in the audience raise their hands, resulting in more than half of the crowd with their arms in the air.

“In a month, one of you will be pregnant,” he insisted, drawing shocked laughter from the crowd.

Adams showed no hesitation in personally calling out audience members to be the butt of his jokes, truly drawing the students into one of their first experiences in college. He insisted on schooling them on the one thing he claimed was the only phrase they needed to remember: “Pull out now!”

Then adding, “On my chest.”

Adams kept his momentum going through the entire set, every single sentence followed by unfaltering laughter from the audience. A fever pitch was reached when he demanded a boy in the front row take off his sneakers and throw them on stage. He proceeded to put the shoes on himself and stand on top of his chair while he continued his routine.

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 4.30.31 PMHe lingered on stage to talk about youth and dating, and reminding everyone to “pull out now” before taking his leave. After the show, Adams tweeted about the show, thanking the University.

Friedlander, the headliner of the night, created a near complete reversal from Adams’ routine. Speaking in a mellow and monotone voice, he left students needing a moment to readjust from Adams’ boisterous yelling.

However, Friedlander’s seemingly improvised performance still ended up drawing much laughter and participation from the audience.

The longest part of his set consisted of requesting students to throw him questions about his “presidential platform for 2016.” Friedlander responded to every question immediately, with varied reactions from the audience.

Unlike Adams’ loud momentum, Friedlander’s approaches to his punchlines were often unhurried and couched in irony. The jokes that got the loudest reactions were more straightforward, such as, “Man, I beat Batman up so bad he applied to transfer to Marvel comics.”

Despite the vastly different approaches, both comedians had the audience equally roped into their participatory performances. By the end of Friedlander’s set, students were eagerly raising their hands and exclaiming their political concerns.

Many seemed eager to cast their vote for Friedlander in the presidential election, particularly after he commented, “Education? Fuck it. Free cable TV and video games.”

After the performance came to a close, both Adams and Friedlander stayed in the lobby to greet the audience. The comedians posed for pictures with anyone who stayed to line up, making themselves available to speak to and hang out with. They even played ping pong at the Student Union’s tennis table when a group of students offered.

Erica Covitz, an Anthropology major and junior, said, “I liked Orny Adams a lot! I knew him from ‘Teen Wolf’ so I was already kind of a fan of his, so it was nice to see him in person.”

Adams also took the time to answer the University Press personally about his feelings on performing at FAU, confirming that he was glad to be back again. He said he especially enjoyed performing for a group of freshmen and “the energy of a room full of people that don’t really know each other.

“And I think I taught them an important lesson. Pull out now,” he repeated genially, for the umpteenth time that night.

Regarding the choices for this Weeks of Welcome event designed to introduce students to life at FAU, the Program Board Director commented, “Judah Friedlander and Orny Adams are the perfect choice to introduce to the new students because it represents the type of high caliber programming we strive to provide throughout the year.”

As for how much it cost the school to hire the television-tier comedians, the public records request for the budget was not filled by the publication date.

For the latest information on upcoming comedy shows for the rest of the school year, visit @ProgramBoardFAU on Twitter. To view the schedule for the remaining Weeks of Welcome events at all FAU campuses, click here.

Check back to the upressonline.com for updates.