When Trevor Noah took the stage, it was clear no joke went unappreciated.
Noah, heir to Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” on Comedy Central, tapped through topics of race, travel, gender, and politics in an impressions-laced standup set at the Louis Alexander Palestra on Saturday night, the headlining comedy act for Meliora Weekend.
His jokes, often framed around anecdote and seamlessly transitioning into discussions of societal issues, received near-constant applause and laughter from the several hundred seated before him, his socially-progressive quips clearly landing with the audience.
The queues were long almost an hour before the show began, snaking outside the Palestra. The floor space had been converted into a sea of chairs and a sizeable, well-built stage, below neatly-presented bleachers
Three screens decorated the walls above the stage, with a live hashtag streaming all the way until the start of the show. Even then, the level of excitement was off the charts, as people posted selfie after selfie, hoping to make the tweet stream, distracting themselves from Noah’s absence.
The crowd was ripe, as the opener, Angelo Lozada, kicked off the night’s performance, serving the crowd a routine worthy of ample applause.
His use of the f-word did not faze the diverse audience, and instead had them roaring as he ranted about airlines that charged for carry-ons, and the “squinty orange peep,” U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Noah, like his opener, spent some time amusing himself and the audience with the sign language interpreter, who never once broke under the comedian’s charm. Though not engaging as directly with the crowd as Lozada, Noah captivated everyone nonetheless.
Noah’s jokes had a deeper meaning beyond the laughs. Taking us on a “tour of the world,” Noah talked about the ongoing issue of immigration,suggesting how it was weird that places like Great Britain, the greatest colonizer in history, were now up in arms about immigrants in their country.
Several of his jokes touched upon racial inequality in America, as well as around the world, something he himself experienced firsthand growing up during the apartheid period in South Africa.
“I really enjoyed his brief tour around the world,” senior and event volunteer Vitraag Mehta said. “As he talked about all those accents, It really makes one think how accents really affect the way people look at you, and what an interesting phenomenon it is,” adding after,“I genuinely felt like I was connecting with him when he did the Indian accent bit.”
Noah was, in fact, a prolific accent-user, mimicking Scottish, Indian, British, and Russian and a slew of stereotypical American dialects—vanilla White Midwestern, urban black speech, redneck crowing.
“Don’t be a penis,” he said in one bit, explaining how a penis was actually a better synonym for weakness than “a p—y.” No one in the room dared to disagree.
“I really liked how he used tongue-in-cheek humor to talk about current events,” sophomore fan Courtney Otto said.
Otto said she bought her tickets almost two months ago, waiting for two hours outside the Common Market.
After a raucous standing ovation at the end of the show, the man of the night bowed away through the exit door, leaving the Palestra packed with cheering fans.