Culture and Comedy

Looking for the best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression? Look no further than Andrew Kennedy, a half Colombian, half British comedian who came to campus on Saturday night during Latin Arts Weekend. Through jokes and accents, Kennedy shared stories of his multicultural childhood with the enthusiastic audience. Kennedy connected with the audience because his acts were interactive and engaging. He started off by asking if anyone had a multicultural background, and as the night progressed, conversations with the audience moved to topics such as kids TV show “The Wiggles.” “It’s easy for us to have an enjoyable time. Sometimes [though, it is] very unusual [when] I don’t make a connection, and that makes it not fun for me,” said Kennedy. He later admitted, “I love this audience.” Nicole Villar ’12 and Alianza Latina hoped that the comedian would bring attention to the Latino community at PA. Villar said, “We are a small population, but we are still a very strong one. We wanted to get that across to the entire student body, and we thought the best way to do that was to bring an entertainer, [especially] one who would appeal to PA’s multicultural audience.” This decision proved correct, as the audience went hysterical over Kennedy’s accents and impersonations. He was able to pull off a perfect impersonation of Colonel Hans Landa from “Inglourious Basterds” and a variety of other characters. “My favorite was definitely the Arnold Schwarzenegger impression,” said Didi Oyinlola ’13. Kennedy grew up with a Colombian mother and an English father, and he has lived in Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, New Canaan Connecticut and Hong Kong. He used his experiences with the local people to execute the accents. The performance centered on the culture-clash between his English and Columbian heritage. Kennedy uses his life as his main inspiration. He said, “It’s therapeutic to just talk about [my upbringing]. Each time I talk about it, I’m reliving it. I had a crazy, unusual childhood, so I had to talk about it.” Didi Oyinlola ’13 said, “[The performance was] funnier because he knew what he was talking about. He wasn’t a third party, and he was actually Colombian…His comedy was telling the story of his life and his encounters with Latino culture.” Kennedy was not always involved in comedy. Prior to being a comedian, he was an entrepreneur, but it was the bank that inspired him to go into comedy. “Whenever I would go to the bank to make deposits, I would always go into characters for the bank tellers to make them laugh,” said Kennedy. The bank tellers eventually told him that he was in the wrong line of business. He took this suggestion and started his performance career when he answered an open-microphone audition at a comedy club. Since then, he has been on Comedy Central’s “List of Top 20 Comedians” twice. Kennedy’s mesh of his heritage and talent is what makes his comedy unique. “I wouldn’t change anything [about my childhood]. It’s given me my career now,” he said.