Virtual comedy: America’s Got Talent runner-up provides comedic relief for students

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(Photo courtesy of the Union Program Council)

Politics is one of many topics brought up in comedian Drew Lynch’s comedy routine Wednesday evening. The Union Program Council hosted the live-stream event with funds provided by the Campus Entertainment Fund.

The Season 10 “America’s Got Talent” runner up started his stand-up comedy career after a concussion left him with a stutter.

Since then, Lynch has appeared on various talk shows and earned millions of subscribers thanks to his YouTube channel featuring his service dog Stella.

Before the event, CEF Co-Chair Ryan Urban, graduate student in mass communications, explained the booking process for acts like Lynch.

“We usually try to do a little bit of … student-interest research beforehand and that’s usually at the end of the semester,” Urban said. “We see who’s popular, who’s in our price range. That’s kind of the determining factor for who students want.”

Actor and comedian Vladimir Caamaño opened for Lynch. Caamaño has performed roles in shows like “Brooklyn-99” and “Superstore,” and stars in the Netflix original movie “Vampires vs. the Bronx.” In his segment, he talked about the horrors of shaking hands “raw” during a pandemic, beard dandruff and the student demand for better toilet paper on campus.

“These are tough times, and [students] want the Charmin toilet paper with the CBD oil,” Caamaño said.

Caamaño opened up about his experiences during the pandemic, including his bidet purchase during the toilet paper shortage. He also brought up the time his father used the bidet, a toilet attachment designed for cleaning certain unsanitary areas, to wash his hands and face. Caamaño decided against revealing the purpose of the bidet to his father.

“My father was an alcoholic growing up, so I let him go ahead,” Caamaño said. “This is payback for all the times you neglected me.”

Lynch opened his segment piggy-backing off Caamaño’s bidet jokes, arguing over who can get the cleanest a**, and playfully bagging on Kansas.

“I’ve driven through Kansas once. I think I made it out,” Lynch said. “I kid and I joke a lot about Kansas and how the Earth is flat, but it is good to be here. Not on the planet, but here with you.”

Lynch also poked fun at his stutter, assuring the audience their internet wasn’t acting up and that it was a personal issue or “some kind of 5G malfunction.”

Given the state of the country, it was only a matter of time before politics came into play. Although claiming he wasn’t a political person, Lynch had his fair share of opinions.

“Let’s address the donkey in the room,” Lynch said. “I was gonna say elephant but I guess it went the other way.”

He revealed that he voted for Biden, strictly because of Biden’s stutter. That’s where the “Lynch 2048” campaign starts to form.

“When I become of age and of height, I will be the president because [Joe Biden] has made it possible for me,” Lynch said.

Despite a few technical difficulties, Lynch moved forward. He proceeded to spin jokes about the first instance of road rage, the subjectivity of craziness and which hand sanitizers are the worst.

Urban and his co-chair Ivy Bogle moderated the event, monitoring the chat throughout and opening up the Zoom for a quick Q&A at the end.

While one person asked about feeling stuck and unsuccessful in life, another asked if a hotdog is a sandwich. Lynch had answers for both.

“You have to find what it is that you’re best at, where it is that you can make a difference for this life after you leave it,” Lynch said. “It’s up to you to prove others wrong and prove yourself right.”

The hotdog question received conflicting responses from Lynch and his girlfriend, who was also in the room during the live stream.

“Is a hot dog a sandwich? Absolutely not. What? My girlfriend is saying yes and she is not booked to do the show so she doesn’t count,” Lynch said.

Booking Lynch was a fairly straightforward process, Urban said, the process itself hasn’t been hindered much by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s ultimately cheaper for us to host virtually, and furthermore it’s easier for us as well,” Urban said. “We don’t have to provide a location, we don’t have to provide hospitality.”

That’s not to say there aren’t any issues. Budget cuts made it harder to book high-profile acts, and many students aren’t as interested in attending these virtual events.

“Our budget has been cut 100 percent this year, so we’re operating entirely on rollover,” Urban said.

Lynch is still an up-and-coming comedian, but Urban has high hopes for his future.

“While John Mulaney is still number one right now, I think [Lynch] will probably be there very soon,” Urban said.

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My name is Jared Shuff, and I am a former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I worked as the arts & culture editor and as a contributing writer for the news desk. I am a senior in secondary education with an emphasis in English/journalism. I grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas, and attended Hutchinson Community College before transferring to K-State in 2020.