Lights Up: Stand-Up Comedy Club Debuts Inaugural Performance

Delivering jokes about everything from Ben and Jerry’s to bisexuality, Nick Liu ’23, Owen Cheng ’23, Dori Rosenstrauch ’23, and EV Heck ’25 premiered Stand-Up Comedy Club’s inaugural show. Audience member Victoria Ortiz ’23 commented on how the performers effectively connected with the audience through lines surrounding identity.

“The style really suits each of them, the jokes that they come up with, especially the identity based stuff, because I know it’s very truthful and that they can play around and use their experiences to make other people kind of feel seen in a way. I think everything that they’re doing is very, it’s well crafted. Especially with people like Nick, that have been doing this for a while, have really experimented with the types of jokes they make,” said Ortiz.

Unlike other comedy and improv groups on campus, Stand-Up Club focuses solely on stand-up acts and works closely with DramaLabs. As a DramaLabs producer and founder of Stand-Up Club, Rosenstrauch explained how over the past year, she has incorporated aspects of stand-up comedy into DramaLabs, gradually getting enough people interested to have their own stand-up showcase.

“Last year, I also started the stand-up comedy club, and I’ve been working towards getting enough comedians in order to make what is essentially a DramaLab with all comedy. So I was able to introduce the show as something that I’ve worked to put together and then also perform in it as well,” said Rosenstrauch.

While preparing for Friday’s show, both newer and more experienced stand-up artists like Liu found feedback from the other performers vital in editing their scripts. Liu discussed feeling grateful for the support from both their fellow comedians and friends in the audience.

“When you’re writing it’s hard to figure out what you think is funny and what other people think is funny. Something I’m really grateful for is that Owen and Dori were really good at giving feedback and what material works and what material doesn’t work. I ran my material over with the other comics, and I ran it through a few friends. One thing is realizing that people are supportive and people will always be there for you and [Ortiz] had a sign that said ‘Go Owen and Nick,’ too, so just knowing that people are there for you,” said Liu.

The stand-up show also offered valuable performance opportunities to newer comedians like Heck and Cheng. Cheng expressed that while he had experience as a sketch comedian, they didn’t have much experience with the stand-up format. They explained how they were able to quickly adjust their act to the audience’s interests and ultimately delivered a successful performance.

“I had done sketch comedy, but I wasn’t really familiar with the [stand-up] format and I didn’t know how people would respond. That’s why I improvised so much because I had found what I had written probably wasn’t the vibe that was what the audience was responding to. In the end, it went really well and I’m happy with that,” said Cheng.

Heck felt that the more experienced comedians made her feel welcome and gave helpful feedback, pushing her forward to overcome stage fright and ultimately found this opportunity to perform exciting and valuable. She emphasized the accessibility of stand-up comedy, in that anyone could try it out.

“I would say that stand-up isn’t as exclusive as you might think. Anyone can do it and perform it. Even though it sounds very intimidating by yourself, it’s really enjoyable and something that I think everyone should try at least once because it’s a great experience.” Heck said.

Looking forward, Rosenstrauch is thinking about collaborating with Sketchy for future performances with the Stand-Up Comedy club. Cheng and Liu are also planning to perform as a comedic duo in Grasshopper in the coming weeks. Cheng jokes about what he hopes the audience took away from the stand-up performance.

“I hope they really take away that I’m funny, charming, and hot. I want them to think that I’m better than everyone else. Stronger, faster, better looking, and can name more Ben 10 aliens. I can name every Ben 10 alien,” said Cheng.

Nick Liu ’23 performs stand-up comedy in New York City occasionally.

With only previous experience with sketch comedy, Owen Cheng ’23
adapts to the new format of stand-up comedy.