Laughter filled Salsarita’s on Monday evening as the Union Program Council hosted its first Last Comic Standing competition at the K-State Student Union. Seven students performed stand-up routines, hoping to crack up the audience and win the title.
“Last Comic Standing” was originally an NBC reality TV show in which aspiring comics all over the United States competed for the grand prize of a developmental contract. Ross Jensby, entertainment co-chair of UPC and junior in public relations, had the idea to revive the comedy clubs K-State had in the past by putting on a smaller version of the hit show.
“We thought that there was a strong undercurrent of student interest that wasn’t being fulfilled,” Jensby said. “There’s been a strong resurgence of improv at K-State so I thought that a stand-up comedy show would be something students might be interested in participating in.”
For aspiring comedian Willy Evans, sophomore in open option, the night’s competition was the first time he has ever been in front of a live audience.
“I’ve always been told that I was a funny person,” Evans said. “I told my family that since this was my first time, my goal was to get on and off the stage without collapsing.”
Other contestants, like Daniel Neely, junior in food science and journalism, already had experience performing stand-up. Neely got his start at open mike nights in Aggieville bars.
“I did stand-up for the first time at Auntie Mae’s and later on at Mojo’s,” Neely said, “I did it because it’s fun and if you have something you want to tell other people, it’s easier to do it like this because they’re forced to listen to you.”
The jokes ranged from K-State humor and raunchy jokes to anecdotes about zoos and British erotica.
“I liked the girls looking like Gollum joke,” said Kathryn Githens, freshman in open option. “I really like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ so it was relatable.”
At the end of the night, Neely took home the $100 gift card to the Union and the title as K-State’s first “Last Comic Standing.”
“I was really happy with the way things went tonight,” Neely said. “It’s a thrill to perform in a large audience.”