For every comedian that makes you wet your pants from laughing so hard, there are several who get by on the ho-hum chuckles of barely-tolerating audiences. For Members Only, Northwestern’s black student alliance, booked just this mixture of entertainers for their spring comedy show, “Laugh Out Loud.”
About 50 students filed into Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on Saturday night to the mixes of DJ Timbuktu, who lifted the energy level of the crowd in preparation for the first of four comedians. Def Comedy Jam’s Spank strutted out and worked the crowd, starting his portion of the show with “Where everybody at?”
Where were you at, Spank? The comedian spent half of his time laughing at his own wit, the audience cracking the occasional shadow of a smile, and the other half inquiring after the age and hometown of the students. By the time Spank had recognized he had told barely one joke, the next performer was hastily taking the stage.
Kellye Howard, nicknamed “the Princess of Comedy,” bounced on the stage with intensity, immediately launching into her rambunctious repertoire. The absurdity of Howard’s stories struck home with a crowd thirsty for comedy, and all too soon she turned over the mic and ran offstage.
Unfortunately, Spank returned. The man who was supposed to warm up the crowd for their next act again killed the mood, leaving a silent arena for comedian B. Cole of BET’s Comic View. Cole seemed like he had nothing planned for the show, stumbling through his transitions and leaving awkward pauses between sentences.
When Spank appeared yet again after Cole had exited, a significant portion of the audience hastily grabbed their belongings and left. The biggest name of the night, Tony Roberts, had to contend with a crowd that had heard too many dead jokes.
“Laugh Out Loud” promised four of TV’s best entertainers, but only one showed up with the energy and desire to put on a show.