The University of Miami community was treated to a night of laughter when Colin Jost, writer and “Weekend Update” anchor for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), visited the Rathskeller to perform stand-up comedy Thursday night. The event was organized by Hurricane Productions, Student Government and The Rathskeller Advisory Board.
Saskia Groenewald, a member of UProv, said there was anticipation far before the event’s 9 p.m. start time.
“I think the excitement of the night started when we waited out here,” Groenewald said. “It was kind of like when you hear of people camping out for SNL.”
The waiting line curved around the entire Shalala Student Center. Groenewald said she waited for over an hour to get into the event, and she was not alone.
“I am bursting with excitement and anxiety because this line has been like an hour long,” theater major Annie Zigman said. “But that’s okay, because we get to meet Colin Jost!”
And that was just the line of people with tickets. A stand-by line formed of those hoping to be accepted after the ticketed guests. Neuroscience major MaryJo Bekhash put in the time to make sure she was near the front of the line.
“I’m super excited,” Bekhash said. “We’ve been waiting for an hour, but I can’t wait.”
The show opened with Chris Killian, a comedian and songwriter. Before the show, Killian discussed his expectations for the evening.
“Hopefully it will be funny,” he said. “That would be nice.”
Killian’s set was a combination of spoken stand-up and singing impersonations, ending with a sexy serenade to audience member Austin Peraza. Killian performed a rendition of Justin Beiber’s hit song “Boyfriend” while dancing on Peraza. For the grand finale, Killian pulled a flower out of his pants and gave it to him.
“I was definitely surprised,” said Peraza, a film major.
“That flower was in my pants the whole time, the whole show,” Killian said. “It’s really uncomfortable.”
This was Killian’s first time ever on the UM campus, but he has opened for Jost in the past.
“You see his face, right? It’s so handsome,” Killian said. “Like, how can you not want to open for the guy? He’s adorable. So chiseled in the jawline.”
When Jost finally came on stage, audience members like Groenewald expressed similar sentiments.
“Colin Jost, he’s just as handsome as he looks on TV,” she said.
Recording of Jost’s performance was strictly prohibited. His set included stand-up comedy with many jokes tailored to UM, including mention of the campus ducks and his observation that the name “Rathskeller” sounds very similar to ‘rat seller.’
Groenewald said that Jost did his homework on Miami life.
“He was very present on campus,” she said. “It wasn’t like he just did one thing; he really prepared beforehand.”
To help him think of jokes specific to a new area, Jost said he “likes acclimating [him]self” by arriving early and taking a walk.
“[I] think about, ‘What’s something funny I ran into?'” Jost said. “Usually, it’s the kind of things that you run into if you live here or go to school here. You see the same weird things that I see as a tourist.”
The night finished with a question and answer session that Brianna Hathaway, Student Government president, helped lead.
“Honestly, I’m a big fan of Saturday Night Live, especially Weekend Update,” Hathaway said. “So I was super honored to be presented with the opportunity to help host the event and be able to ask him questions.”
When the session came to a close, Hathaway made the final question a special one.
“He asked for one last question, so I proposed to him!” Hathaway said. “And [jokingly] he said yes. So for me, that was the biggest moment today.”
At the end of the night, computer science major Blake Maune reported enjoying the evening.
“The show was great. It left everybody wanting more,” he said.
Groenewald expressed similar sentiments.
“Miami is not typically known for its comedy,” she said. “Having the university engage in that and bring such a big name to campus was a great experience. I spent more time laughing today than I have in a really long time.”