Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sig Ep Comedy Night at Emory

A Comedian Sums Up Emory

by Anum Mohammad

After CollegeHumor.com writer Steve Hofstetter delivered a stand-up last night, he came to four conclusions about Emory: Emory accepts students based on how many new statues need to be funded, the population is truly diverse and the minorities are not all “out” having to pose in pictures for Emory brochures, studying business sounds like the best business plan — not medicine — and the status of Emory’s mascots is still unclear.

Hofstetter and fellow comedians Phil Mazo and Mike Trainor let loose on Emory’s campus as a part of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s comedy night. The comedians came ready to use themselves as the butt of their jokes, focusing largely on body image, social habits, race and background and Emory.

For the opening act Trainor, who “is not fat but finds a lot of s--t delicious,” conjectured that there are enough studies that fast food restaurants know just how to get to people, like the new waffle sandwich filled with eggs and bacon at Dunkin’ Donuts.

In an interview with the Wheel prior to the act, Hofstetter said that generally people expect most comedians to be dark and disturbed, but the truth is they’re not all dark — but disturbed.

“The guy on stage never loses. The guy on stage doesn’t have any insecurities. The guy on stage is one-dimensional,” Hofstetter said in the interview. He was not just talking about himself in the third person, but was referring to the part of him that people want to see, not the attention-craving, diary keeping, straight-edge kid he was.

“If you were a white Jewish kid with a black sister, you’d start writing s--t down too,” Hofstetter later explained during the act, referring to his quasi-identity crisis. Plus, he added, he is a red-headed giant, often confused with being Irish, not Jewish.

He said that people do not know how to respond to his diverse background, but often congratulate him on his adopted sister. Dumbfounded, he would ask, “Why? It’s not like I chose her.”

But he was a part of what people consider another type of family: Greek life. There he could choose the newest member of his familly.

“No that one looks like a tool,” Hofstetter said.

Hofstetter was SigEp’s president at Columbia University and felt that joining Greek life was the best decision he ever made.

“I faced my biggest challenge then: presiding over peers,” Hofstetter said.
The trio was in Atlanta for the week when Hofstetter’s manager contacted College senior and SigEp President Jeff Jensen about doing a show at Emory.

The three guys, who are typically accompanied by a fourth comedian, Denis Donohue, are used to doing the things any guy loves: objectifying women, eating and working.

The guys attested to being like any other guy: a jerk. According to Mazo, they could be walking down the street when suddenly there is a pleasing interference, or two.

“What a rack on that girl,” Mazo exclaimed. But, Mazo said, they are not always bad. They take time to get to know the girl and flatter her as well, he defended: “What a girl on that rack.”

As a SigEp brother himself and a comedian who constantly strives to appeal to college students, Hofstetter seemed at home during the show, frequently interacting with the audience. The event hosted a small, diverse audience with whom Hofstetter grew familiar throughout the act.

In an audience of 30, one student resembled a smirf; his face was blue, not by choice but because of the light reflecting from his laptop. It was 8:07 p.m., and College freshman Aneal Ahmed was seven minutes into course registration for next semester. Hofstetter was amazed. Ahmed was picked on the rest of the night for being the first in line to get “his bag of s--t,” or in Emory’s native tongue, take “orgo.”

After the show, the comedians went out to converse and sell items, including t-shirts, albums and other memorabilia and converse with students.

In an interview with the Wheel, the three said that the weekend before, they were at the notorious Clairmont Strip Club, a club with strippers in their 60s.

“I feel like we went to war and got a purple heart together. We could have just punched each other and that would have accomplished the same thing,” Hofstetter joked.

— Contact Anum Mohammad.