Stand up to be a part of October’s Belly Bust

Courtesy KT Tatara

University of Miami students will be able to show off their stand-up comedy skills at Belly Bust’s Student Stand-up Comedy Showcase on Oct. 29. Belly Bust, which takes place the last Friday of every month, is a stand-up comedy show where national touring headliners perform at the Rathskeller.

The opener for the Student Showcase will be KT Tatara, a well-known comedian who has performed on Comedy Central and Showtime. The Student Showcase is open to all students and comes with a generous winning prize: $100 Rat dollars, which is a gift certificate to the Rathskeller, and the chance to be a Belly Bust opener for a touring headliner.

Tommy Lee, Belly Bust chair, said that the Student Showcase will allow students to try out stand-up comedy.

“It’s open to anyone and it’s a great opportunity for students to get stage time,” Lee said.

The last Belly Bust, which took place in September, featured headliner Adam Lowitt from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Other Belly Bust acts have included Finesse Mitchell from Saturday Night Live, Ert Kreishcer, a former Travel Channel host and Comedy Central performer and Brent Ernst, who appeared on Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Tour and has aired specials on Comedy Central.

Lee, who is a stand-up comedian himself, said that although Belly Bust headliners are not necessarily world famous, they are definitely well-known.

“We bring in smaller names, but they’re still good comedians,” Lee said. “Most of our comedians have TV credits or have had small roles in movies and films.”

Lee spent the summer in Los Angeles where he made personal connections with various comedians and was able to get them to perform at the Rat. Since Belly Bust performers travel to Miami for just one show, they come with a price tag of several thousand dollars. Lee said that he negotiated with the performers in order to reach a feasible deal.

“I had to bargain people down from their original asking prices and work out deals with them,” Lee said.

The funding for Belly Bust comes from the Rathskeller Advisory Board’s (RAB) activity budget which is distributed through Hurricane Productions and ultimately comes from UM’s student activity fee. RAB also organizes other activities at the Rat including Spoken Word, tailgate parties for away games and other special events.

Spoken Word, which takes place the second Wednesday of every month, is an event during which professional poets share their poetry on a personal level by incorporating emotion into their reading.

Asia Davis, Spoken Word chair, said that it is like giving a performance but in a natural manner.

“It’s about conveying the emotion of your poetry in a very natural way,” Davis said.

RAB’s Special Events Chair, Jeannine Scarpino is in the process of organizing various activities including Open Mic Night and Karaoke Night.

“We got lots of great feedback from Open Mic Night,” Scarpino said. “There was poetry, lots of music and even bits of comedy performed by students. We will definitely have more events like this one.”

Other events that are still in the works include a wing-eating contest and Thirsty Hour, a Thursday night band performance from 4–6 p.m.

If interested in performing at the Student Showcase, contact Lee at before Oct. 22.

Laurie Charles may be contacted at