Community, Edge

Former “Saturday Night Live” comedian Jay Pharoah performs at Rat

Jay Pharoah, a featured cast member on “Saturday Night Live” for six years, delivered a memorable comedy performance filled with impressions, stories and rap on Feb. 9 at the University of Miami’s Rathskeller. This past “Saturday Night Live” season was Pharoah’s last, and he is now focusing on his comedy and music career outside of the show. Pharoah was best known on “Saturday Night Live” for his Barack Obama impressions, which he performed for UM students.

For his one-night stand-up comedy routine, Pharoah opened with a small snippet of a song. He then joked about how he was almost kicked out of his own show when standing in the upstairs section of the venue before the performance. For one of the most well-known celebrity impersonators, it was surprising to see how few impressions he began his set with – but by the end of the night, there was no shortage of impressions. One of his most clever impressions was of Justin Bieber’s “Where Are Ü Now,” perfectly executing the rendition of the post-hook noise in the song.

As far as material goes, Pharoah was all over the place, though comedians are some of the few people who can do this well and get away with it. Pharoah was able to tell many stories while connecting them through comedy. He would joke about rappers like Drake and Lil’ Yachty, then switch to talk about his childhood.

There were no barriers for this comedy star. He touched on all subjects from race and sexuality to politics and puberty. He told a long story about a party that he went to where he had too much of the drug Molly. In between his party and politics stories, Pharoah weaved in his famous Jay-Z impression with complaints paid out to Beyoncé.

Pharoah’s impressions of Ben Carson and former President Obama were hilarious. His Carson impression was borderline creepy, while Obama impression was multi-faceted. He did an impression of when he met Obama at the White House and also did a sketch of what Obama’s last day in office could have looked like.

Although not all of the jokes got the same laughs, it was a solid performance. Pharoah ended with a performance of him freestyle rapping.

As college students face lots of pressure from daily stress, the comic relief was much appreciated by the audience. He told the crowd to enjoy the college years and to tell the people they love that they love them – a positive end to a refreshing, enjoyable performance.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

February 15, 2017

About Author

Tristan Niskanen


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Last year the rain fell in torrents. Wednesday was all scorching sunshine. Fifteen former Miami Hurr ...

See phtos from the University of Miami's annual Pro Day, where outgoing UM players perform for ...

Quarterback Brad Kaaya ambled out of the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence close to 3 p.m. Wed ...

A woman has accused NFL Hall of Famer and former University of Miami star wide receiver Michael Irvi ...

Today is special for 15 former Hurricanes football players from the University of Miami. It’s Pro Da ...

More than 250 participants met at the UM Fieldhouse at the Watsco Center to learn more from industry ...

Redshirt freshman diver David Dinsmore won the NCAA national championship in the men’s 10-meter plat ...

UM junior Gina Panarese was surprised on campus Thursday by the Ellen DeGeneres show and asked to pa ...

A conversation with Belén Garijo and Felicia Marie Knaul. ...

Nova Southeastern University’s Jacqueline A. Travisano will be UM’s Executive Vice President for Bus ...

At The Net with Piotr Lomacki ...

The University of Miami men's basketball team will face Princeton on Dec. 2 in the Naismith Mem ...

The University of Miami track and field team will compete at two of the top outdoor meets in the Uni ...

What's Pro Day like at The U? We followed along from start to finish to find out. ...

Greg Veliz delivered a sparkling performance on the hill, but Miami fell to No. 12 FGCU 3-0. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.