Comedy for a cause, fuels laughs

Adam Lowitt, Emmy Award-winning writer and stand-up comedian, performs at Belly Bust Friday at the Rat. Nimmo//Miami Hurricane

On the last Friday of every month, a jam-packed room of students and stand-up comedians can be found at the Rathskeller’s Belly Bust.

This semester’s second comedy night  at the Rat,  however, served a greater purpose. Kappa Kappa Gamma hosted the Belly Bust in support of their philanthropy, Camillus House, with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Adam Lowitt and Jon Schieszer from Los Angeles’ Comedy Store headlining the event.

“As a sisterhood we strive to help our community in as many ways as possible,” said Danielle Landau, the philanthropy chairperson for Kappa Kappa Gamma. “Camillus House is the incredible organization where we focus our efforts.”

Landau coordinated September’s Belly Bust with Tommy Lee, a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and the Rathskeller Advisory Board, which is responsible for organizing events that take place at the campus hotspot.

“Since the events at the Rat are catered toward students, I am always trying to find really funny comedians who are going to appeal to a college crowd,” Lee said.

Lee, who is an aspiring comedian himself, opened the night with his own gig. During the summer, he took an internship in Los Angeles for a management company and traveled around the city doing stand-up. He met Jon Schieszer at the Comedy Store, a popular comedy club in Hollywood and invited him, as well as Adam Lowitt, to perform at Belly Bust.

Schieszer, who lives in Los Angeles, is steadily growing in popularity in the world of comedy. He frequently performs at the Comedy Store and will be headlining in Hawaii in the near future. Twenty years ago, Schieszer became interested in stand-up comedy and has been traveling around the country to make people laugh ever since.

“Comedy is a great thing because standing up in front of a crowd in an attempt to make them laugh really makes you become comfortable in your own skin,” Schieszer said. “Miami was a great crowd. I hope to come back and perform here again in the spring.”

Lowitt, who writes for the “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update and produces “The Daily Show,” for which he has won an Emmy Award, was the headliner of the night. His repertoire of jokes ranged from religion to Justin Bieber.

“Working at ‘The Daily Show’ is awesome,” he said. “I get to oversee everything and Jon Stewart is a great guy. As for Miami, the crowd was very fun and very interesting.”

The Rathskeller will continue to host Belly Bust every month, whether it is for a cause, or just to fuel laughter.

Elissa DeCampli may be contacted at edecampli@themiamihurricane.com.