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NBC’s sponsored comedian tour cracks up Drake

Wil Sylvince and Mal Hall are two of the funniest people in America—literally.

The pair auditioned in the summer of 2009 for the NBC Stand-Up for Diversity comedy tour.

“NBC was doing a talent search for diverse comedians in six or seven cities,” Hall said. “Only the first 150 people in line were allowed to audition, so I slept outside of this club in San Diego all night. I was No. 27 to perform.”

In the first round, comedians were allowed one minute to impress the judges; two minutes in the second round and the showcase was a five-minute performance.

NBC selected six diverse comedians who performed at the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) where representatives can sign comedians to perform on college campuses.

“We found Wil and Mal at NACA,” Allie LeClair said. LeClair is an entertainment co-chair for SAB.

Sylvince was born in Haiti and now resides in New York, N.Y. He was traveling from a film festival in Los Angeles. He makes short films when not on the road with the comedy tour.

Comedy, although hereditary to some, is not an easy business to get involved in.

Taking advice from a radio host, Hall started with stand-up at coffee shops, followed by open mic at comedy clubs. Eventually his writing and jokes got easier and improved.

He can sum his job up in just a few words: “I stare, take mental notes and talk shit about them around the world.”

Hall, originally from San Diego, Calif., drove from a show at Western Illinois University Wednesday to perform on Drake University’s Pomerantz Stage Friday night.

Before joining the NBC sponsored tour, Hall had never traveled.

“Now I get to go all over the country and do what I love,” Hall said. “I love seeing places I would never travel to otherwise.”

Approximately 70 students came out to get a laugh from the hysterical pair. Jokes ranging from Iowa pride (or lack thereof) to the “six-fingered sandwich artist,” kept students laughing for over two hours.

SAB’s next event will feature Rosemary Ellen Guiley Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Guiley will discuss her ability to detect spirits and ghosts. She will end the night by leading a tour of the Drake campus, pointing out where spirits are throughout the Drake neighborhood.

Photos: Heather Boone

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