BY LÓRIEN MACENULTY
“Woah! Come to Drake.”
Comedian Matt Stofsky threw up his hands in offense at the use of profanity in his own joke. Profanity featured heavily in Stofsky’s Sunday night act; that and an attempt at selling Drake University to a crowd primarily comprised of prospective students.
“Well if this doesn’t make you want to come to Drake, I don’t know what will. This is the ultimate sales pitch,” Stofsky said.
Drake isn’t Stofsky’s first “sales pitch,” though.
The Brooklyn-based comedian has performed at multiple universities across the country, including Augustana College and Washington State, among others.
Accordingly, one might stumble across Stofsky’s work on CollegeHumor, with sketch pieces such as “How to Enjoy Scotch in Your 20s” and “God Texts His Srsly Crzy Roommate Eve.”
The Student Activities Board (SAB) spent around $2,000 to invite the comedian to campus, an expenditure that covered a hotel pass and Stofsky’s dinner. SAB Entertainment co-chair Qaima Jafri said that she and her co-chair Jenny English spent about a month organizing the event, including booking the act and signing the contract.
“Everything was smooth-sailing,” Jafri said. “His managers were constantly working with us, bringing him to campus.”
Approximately 370 students showed up at Parents Hall at 9:00 pm on Sunday night prepared for entertainment. Some students had to bring in chairs from elsewhere due to the magnitude of the crowd.
Stofsky’s routine included humorous commentary on British rappers, the Olympics, allusions to consent-based sex, drinking, Canada, intimidating Texan men and his hotel room.
“I’m staying at the Holiday Inn around the corner,” Stofsky said. “They put me in the handicap room, I’m trying not to read into it. I think they’re trying to tell me something.”
Laughter rumbled through the crowd, though not everyone was amused. First-year students Emily Munch and Shea Malloy walked out part-way through the performance.
“I thought that the comedian was offensive,” said Munch, a musical theatre major. “I get that a lot of humor is, stand-up comedy is being rude to people. But making fun of disabilities isn’t funny. His jokes were cheap shots. I didn’t want to stay there for it.”
A fan of Ali Wong and Ellen, Malloy said that comedians don’t necessarily need to be controversial to be funny.
“Honestly, I think Ellen is a great example,” Malloy said. “I don’t think that she needs to down-talk anyone in order to be funny.”
In choosing among the many types of performance artists Drake has hosted—everything from hypnotists to magicians to singers—SAB decided that this time, prospective students needed a way to destress.
“All of these students are prospective students,” Jafri said. “It’s already a hard time for them; coming to a college, touring it and learning about what it’s all about. I feel like tonight would kind of be a destresser for them, to tell you that ‘yeah, college is kind of fun too. It’s fun, you have good days.’ He’s going to be out here, he’s going to make people laugh.”