On Sept. 28, comedian and actor Marlon Wayans, known for “White Chicks” and “Scary Movie,” hosted a standup comedy show at the Rathskeller, a student hotspot on campus.
From Saturday Night Live to The Tonight Show, comedy has remained one of the purest, feel-good forms of entertainment, For Hurricane Productions (HP), bringing Wayans to campus seemed like an obvious choice.
Excited for a night of laughs, many pushed through the crowded restaurant to get good seats. However, after just twenty minutes, Wayans’ performance did more to divide than unite the crowd.
Not everyone would consider Wayans’ edgy and disruptive stand-up routine comedy. Many in the 500-seat crowd laughed, but others did not.
The jokes and ideas he included were, to some, offensive and even racist, while others found it relevant and humorous.
From jokes about the n-word to Trump riffs and comments about Kim Kardashian’s “zika-filled pussy,” his routine was filled with sexually-charged and politically-geared jokes.
“I’m a big fan of plenty of his movies, from ‘White Chicks’ to ‘Little Man,'” senior Chantel Batista said. “I did think he is funnier in movies than in person.”
A few minutes into his set, Wayans sat on his stool onstage, spread his legs and joked about a girl licking his “gooch,” the area of skin between the butt and genitals.
Senior John Ghannam said it made audience members uncomfortable.
“It started off a little bit uncomfortable with the joke about the cotton picking,” Ghannam said. “I like that kind of humor, I just didn’t think it was that appropriate in the setting. I thought the Donald Trump jokes were funny, but I could feel a part of the audience getting uncomfortable, whether they support that or not.”
However, Kyle Gordon, who is on the board for HP, expressed delight at the set. This uncensored form of comedy is a popular part of today’s culture.
“Honestly, I think that is what today’s comedians aim to do,” Gordon said. “When you go to a comic show, the boundaries we are trained to not cross are going to be crossed, and that’s what people find humor in nowadays.”
Fellow HP member and executive chair, Hunter Carpenter, said he would invite Wayans back to campus.
“Those of us in HP thought that Marlon Wayans did an excellent job combining both social issues and comedy, and thus starting a necessary conversation,” Carpenter said. “Overall, it was an event we would like to replicate again in the near future.”
After the blunt sex remarks and political-geared jokes, Wayans discussed how nothing in life comes easily and we have to work for success.
“If you want greatness and to be great you have to work harder than anyone else to attain that,” Wayans said.
To many in the audience, the change in direction from jokes to inspirational comments made for an easy and relatable transition.
“I like how in addition to telling jokes, he talked about real life issues and tried to inspire and motivate us,” junior Christian Brown said.
Wayans’ performance was one for the books. Only time will tell what rabbit Wayans will pull out his hat for his next show.