What is the best thing you have ever spent $5 on?
According to several people on campus, it is certainly not the comedy show featuring Zach Galifianakis last Saturday during Yellowjacket Weekend. In an impromptu survey that was taken, four out of five students that attended the show found Zach Galifianakis to be a resounding disappointment or ‘not as funny as expected.”
‘[He was] awkward, slovenly and plain and not funny,” sophomore Ben Willinsky said. ‘The laughs he was able to entice were out of pity and nervousness. A complete waste of $5.”
Statements such as this seem a shame, since for weeks the campus was abuzz with news of the scheduled appearance of B.J. Novak, star of ‘The Office.” When he cancelled a few days before his scheduled performance due to an illness, UR was easy to forgive and willing to give this new replacement comedian a try.
Saturday came, and Strong Auditorium was filled with a number of people who did not sell their tickets keeping in mind it was notably packed for a last-minute exhibition.
Galifianakis strolled up on stage with a beard of intimidating size and was welcomed with a raucous cheer. He grabbed the microphone and started with a string of decent one-liners that were crass in the way that they shocked you into a chuckle and left you with a grin on your face.
Impressions such as the ‘Pretentious Illiterate” had audiences going for a while. However, maybe it was in between the piano playing and the Altoid box dropping (part of one of his jokes) when the show turned into something akin to a presentation that you would see during Orientation.
Galifianakis then jumped off the stage and began interacting with the crowd, walking amongst the students and asking questions about their names, majors and hobbies. The audience played along in good humor until they realized that this was the extent of his joke there was no punch line.
‘I thought Zach was funny, but he re-used a lot of old material and seemed to struggle with the time, killing it with unnecessary crowd interaction,” sophomore Matt Neems said.
Galifianakis even managed to drag an extremely shy girl up on stage and make her sit on a piano bench while continuing the droll line of orientation-esque questions that even touched upon what she aspires to be in the future.
Heartwarming, I’m sure, but I’m pretty sure I came here to laugh, not to sit in on a session of Icebreakers 101.
‘It appeared as though he only had about 10 minutes of actual written material and the rest of the time he just made up stuff as he went,” sophomore Ben Cohen said. ‘That strategy might work for some comedians, but I thought that after a while it started to get old fast.”
When it was nearing the end of the show, even Galifianakis remarked, ‘What time is it? It feels like it’s been an eternity.” It does for us too Zach.
The verdict? Sure, Galifianakis put on a good show, if you had nothing better to do. But considering the humor was sub-par, he did manage to get a respectable amount of laughs out of an audience that was expecting much more. Although we are thankful that Zach was able to fill in for B.J. Novak at the last minute, I think we all agree that Zach should stick to what he does best… Red Light, Green Light 2009, anyone?
Jung is a member of
the class of 2011.

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