Arts

Comedian Sets New Fashion Trend

The latest fashion necessity on campus is not a designer accessory—it is a fan T-shirt for comedian Pete Lee that bears the slogan: “You look fat when you cry.” Confused? You missed a memorable Friday night of controversial comedy. Here’s the scoop. Lee’s show got off to a slow start in Underwood last Friday night, but a few safe jokes about President Bush kept the audience interested. The eager-to-please comedian then drew the audience in by giddily mocking everyone on the planet, particularly himself. “I’m about as tough as a moustache on a blonde guy… [but] I blame my parents for all my flaws,” Lee said, grinning. “My dad is an interior designer,” he added, as if this explained everything. “But I don’t know, ladies, I can be somewhat of a bad boy; I own a hummingbird feeder. And if you don’t think [that’s] tough, you’ve never filled one of those things with Nyquil before…” Lee paused to mime the scenario, waving “Nighty-night, birdie! See ya’ in twelve hours!” The crowded Underwood Room laughed sympathetically, and Lee seemed to gain confidence from the students’ enthusiasm. After mild digs about his home state, Wisconsin, Lee began to cross some lines with a joke about a T-shirt he received as a gift from his girlfriend, Jamie. He said, “It had this little house on it, with a little circle around it, and I thought it was for some kind of band… House and O, I’m in the house-oh…until my best friend said, ‘no, dude, that’s home-O. You’re a homo, dude!’” Laughter rattled the glass walls of Underwood once more as the audience parsed this punch line, but sideways glances could be seen between students who clearly thought Lee had gone too far with the seemingly homophobic line. Lee gave a nervous laugh. “I was wondering why men kept buying me mojitos.” Concerned members of the audience who raised their eyebrows had seen nothing yet. After drawing an analogy between the sound of his high-pitched voice and the tone of Arab music, Lee commented fervently, “I like Arab people, but their music [sucks].” Lee hastily scanned the audience for offended spectators and promptly spotted his next target: Faiyad Ahmad ’10. Lee followed up with more stereotypes and politically incorrect jokes, and then took a few jabs at Ahmad’s preferred sport, wrestling. After Lee had insulted himself, his family, wrestling, homosexuals, senior citizens, virgins and people from New Orleans, he justified his behavior by saying, “My point is [that] you gotta have fun in life, even if it’s at someone else’s expense.” The audience’s reactions to Lee’s act were mostly positive. Lee’s ingenuity impressed most students. “It was funny!” said Matt Appleby ’11. Nicole Okai ’10 agreed, “[Lee] was so awesome!” Other students took a more moderate stance. “That was just so far over the line but [still] hysterical,” said Nora Prynciotti ’12. Daniel Aronov ’11, concluded that “[Lee] kept us on edge.” On the other hand, a few students found Lee’s comedy too inconsistent. “Every four minutes or so he would hit a good joke, but for the most part it was pretty mundane,” said Ziwe Fumudoh ’10. After the show, hordes of students who wanted “You look fat when you cry” T-shirts mobbed Lee’s merchandise station. The line on the shirts refers to a joke Lee had told earlier that night about a salesgirl at Abercrombie & Fitch. When the crowd began to thin, Lee answered some questions about his career, including a query regarding his experience on the NBC program, Last Comic Standing. “It was fun while I was performing,” Lee said, “but off-stage… it’s a reality show, so they try to pull your strings a lot.” Lee also gave some advice to aspiring comedians, “Basically, if you want to do comedy, start writing jokes… The earlier the better. Write for six months [before you perform] so you’re well prepared. People think they can wing it, but [it takes] practice.” He added, “But everyone can do it. Everyone has a funny thought every day, so if you start writing [them] down every day for six months, you’ll have a [great act].” A great act is just what Lee is aiming for. Look for him in January on Comedy Central. In the meantime, record your funny ideas and save them—just in case you ever dream of becoming a professional comedian. Now, don’t you dare cry about that upcoming math test. After all, no one wants to look fat.