Jo’s Comedy Night takes unexpected turn with performer change


Shea Hildebrand

Tom Francis delivers jokes to the gathered audience at Jo’s. Jo’s is known for putting on events such as open mic nights and art slams.

When one goes to Jo’s Coffee shop on campus, one usually expects a place to get coffee and do homework with friends. What many might not know is that on some nights, Jo’s  hosts themed nights such as open mic nights and art slams. If one would have walked into Jo’s last Tuesday, they would have caught a comedy show.

On Jan. 28, Jo’s hosted “Comedy Night” where up and coming comedian Tom Francis put on his set for the entire shop to enjoy. 

Nobody knew what to expect from “Comedy Night,” but many students were excited, nonetheless. However, all of the audience would agree that they were not expecting “Comedy Night” to go the way it did.

“Frankly, it felt like a fever dream,” student Haley Muse said. “If someone told me before I walked in that I would spend the next hour listening to a middle-aged white dude tell me depressing jokes about his life, I don’t think I would have believed them. I just wanted to get some homework done.” 

Francis is an amateur comedian who was thrown into “Comedy Night” due to the original performer not being able to make it. Even though it was last minute, Francis was very open about how lost he felt during his set.

He started his set by claiming how, right before he came up to perform, he had found out that St. Edward’s was a Catholic university, and how he openly did not think his material would be right for this particular audience. 

“Once he found out it was a Catholic institution, it got much worse because he gave the audience these G rated jokes that were not landing. I just wanted a nice study break and to hear some jokes but he really struggled,” student Lilly Dazet said.  

Although not many were blown away by the comedian, Francis tried his best to relate to the audience by trying to ask them questions and actively joke about how he could not relate to anyone there.

“I thought it was the wrong audience for Francis. Especially in Jo’s, I feel like the audience and his jokes just didn’t mesh well,” student Ronaldo Gonzalez said. 

Fancis’ set included many jokes about being Catholic, which just never really seemed to land for the audience he was trying to entertain. He immediately assumed every person in the audience was Catholic, and then began to apologize for all of the jokes that he thought would offend them. 

When it was finally cleared up that no one in the audience was Catholic, he was already 10 minutes deep into the set, and everyone was uncomfortable and had not laughed once. 

As much as the audience tried to be open to Francis’ set, it ended up being painful to watch, especially because he could not go five minutes without mentioning himself bombing. Francis was not in his element.

The audience tried to help by responding the best way they could and getting a funny conversation started, but nobody could save the night. 

“Comedy Night” was definitely a night to remember. Going into Jo’s on a random Tuesday night only to stumble upon a man talking about relationships and pornography in front of nearly 20 young adults isn’t something you can easily forget. 

However bad the jokes seemed to be at the moment, “Comedy Night” was something fun   to experience with friends. Although it became awkward at times, it was very entertaining to watch and talk about after.