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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Meadows Coffeeshop kicks off new series with comedy night

Jasper Johst / Hilltop Views
Both comedians stood in the front of the shop while spectators gathered at tables and on couches.

Sept. 5 marked the first episode of the Coffee Shop series featuring a “Comedy Night” at the new Meadows Coffeehouse. The event series was hosted by the University Programming Board and Bon Appetit. Two comedians were featured during the two hour event, both exhibiting different comedic styles and preferences that helped create a diverse experience for their audience. 

Tai Nguyen was the first comedian to present. He began his comedic career at Cherry Wood Coffee Shop where he performed written routines for his first few audiences. At first, his comedic routine began with jokes and punchlines regarding his height and how he reacted to certain experiences as a short man. He set up his jokes in a way that was surprising to the audience; all of his closing lines were unpredictable and funny because they caught his listeners off guard. Not only did he use the shock factor to his advantage, he also conveyed his punchlines in a way that made the audience laugh at the relatability of his jokes. 

“My style is pretty raunchy and self deprecating,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen not only used raunchy humor that evoked laughter and cheers from his audience that could relate to these experiences, but he also engaged in conversations with his listeners in order to create a sense of mutualism.

His ability to connect with the audience allowed those watching to laugh more freely and confidently. A big part of humorous routines is getting the listeners to feel comfortable to openly enjoy themselves, and Nguyen’s routine did just that. Nguyen concluded his comedic monologue with a few more humorous punchlines before thanking the audience and introducing the next speaker: Aaron Cheatham. 

Cheatham began his comedic career through his involvement in the River Center Comedy Club in San Antonio. For his set, Cheatham used personal anecdotes to connect with the audience and then build off of each story he tells with another related punchline. 

“I like to incorporate storytelling and self anecdotes in my routine,” Cheatham said. “I like telling these stories and taking the audience on a journey.” 

Cheatham prides himself on his honest and truthful style, finding the humor in everyday occurrences. Throughout his routine, he describes certain experiences, completing the retelling of them with exaggerated voices, facial expressions and reenactments of physical movements that make the audience laugh out loud. He discusses his move to Texas in 1995 and the culture shock that came with the relocation, adding punchlines throughout the story to keep the audience engaged. 

Not only is Cheatham full of punchlines and impressions of people in his life and goofy people he has met with unique voices and personalities, but he also engages with the audience as Nguyen did before him, having the same bonding effect on the listeners as the first performance. He asks people’s names and how they feel about certain topics he’s discussing. 

“I like to have conversations through energy,” Cheatham said. 

Each student who attended the event was offered a free drink at Meadows Coffeeshop, which freshman Erika Ishikawa reflects on and considers how the event was advertised.

“I think the drink ticket was nice and was a good way to get people to the event,” Ishikawa said. “I do wish it was more clear that there would be comedians performing. I think a bunch of people had thought it would be students performing.” 

Overall, the sense of community among those who attended the event may have been even stronger than before.

“Being at [the event] gave me more time to forget about the other things I had to do that day,” Ishikawa said. “It was nice to be surrounded by my peers and laugh together.”

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