After the second day in a row of freezing temperatures and an afternoon of Winterfest activities at River Campus, students headed over to Kodak Hall at Eastman for “A Night of Comedy – Featuring: Chris Redd, Alex Moffat, and Melissa Villaseñor.” All three are known for their time on the sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” which they all left in 2022 before the current season began airing. This time, unlike last year’s Winterfest interview with Pete Davidson, each guest performed about a half hour of stand-up comedy with little to no heckling of any kind.
The show was hosted by Karen Chee, a staff writer on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” who started off the show with her own stand-up routine for about 20 minutes. After that her only hosting duties were to introduce each subsequent comedian. Chee’s set started off with her calling Rochester “beautiful,” to which the audience responded with laughter, assuming it was sarcastic. She doubled down on her statement and added that she only said yes to doing this show because she thought Rochester was right next to Poughkeepsie, NY. Moving on to her regular material she discussed the struggles of dating in New York City — including the tiger mom stereotype — and the irony that she has such a hard time finding an Asian doctor to date.
Chris Redd took the stage next, jogging on in and starting off his set remarking, “I don’t even know where I am right now. What the fuck is this place?” Throughout his set he incorporated some crowd work, at one point asking the audience if anyone had ever run away and asking one attendee their story. They may have only made it to the top of the hill in their neighborhood during a snowstorm, but Redd followed up by sharing his escape story of making it all the way to his friend’s house after spraining both his ankles jumping out his brother’s window, only to be immediately picked up by his dad.
Redd ended the set by sharing some of his failed “SNL” pitches, which included what he called “The Black Batman,” where a white woman gets robbed in an alleyway in the 1960s and refuses help from a Black man who dressed as Batman, saying that she wants to wait for a white Batman to help her. Another, less thought out, sketch idea was “Jameson Bond,” which asks the question, what if James Bond couldn’t handle his liquor?
Next was Melissa Villaseñor, who began her set sharing how refreshed she felt after taking a nap, something that resonated with a large portion of the crowd. Continuing the theme of dating struggles, she expressed her disappointment that over her six years on the show, she had never hooked up with any of the hosts or musical guests, remarking, “Like what the hell? Come on Melis!” Her closest encounter was a rumor that she was dating Jason Momoa, which to her dismay her manager shut down. She also talked about moving back to her home city of Los Angeles and how she’s been loving learning again, including taking ceramics classes (it’s so hard to center your clay on the wheel!) and Spanish lessons (still at an elementary level).
As for her current relationship status, she said, “This is how you know when someone’s been alone for a while. It’s when their mattress has one big, deep dip. One lonely dip […] And I got one dip. I love my dip. It’s cozy in there.” Known for her singing and impressions, she finished the set with a few impressions of singers such as Billie Eilish andOlivia Rodrigo, along with a section of the song “Summer Nights” from “Grease” where she sang as both Sandy and Danny while also impersonating a potential suitor who watches, simultaneously interested and turned off.
The final guest of the evening was Alex Moffat, best known for impersonating Eric Trump on “SNL,” as well as his own character who appeared on Weekend Update multiple times, Guy Who Just Bought a Boat. Moffat entered speaking German gibberish with a few English words. In addition, he did some impressions, such as an Australian camp counselor from Perth, sprinkled in between his German bit, much to the confusion of the crowd. After switching over to English, he revealed he begins all of his shows like that and said, “Usually the better the bit goes, the shorter it goes. The worse it goes, the longer I do it.” At a recent show he noted that “the German thing was going so poorly from the get-go — I did it for 25 solid minutes.”
One of the biggest applause breaks of his set was when Moffatt shared that he went to the Goergen Athletic Center (GAC) upon his arrival, where he played a game of pick-up basketball with some students, a couple of whom were in the crowd. He also made the astute observation that Kodak Hall looks like where they filmed “The White Lotus” intro, complete with an impression of the theme song. He ended the set by finally answering the question that likely many audience members had: Why is there a piano on stage? Moffat concluded with a haphazard sing-a-long in which he poorly played “Piano Man” by Billy Joel while the audience attempted to sing along with him, despite nobody seeming to fully know the words.