Laughs for Lee
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 00:09
The Student Union Theatre echoed with laughter Thursday night during comedian Pete Lee’s UConn debut show.
By 6:30 p.m. students were already lined up outside the theatre doors, eagerly waiting Lee’s 7 p.m. performance. By showtime, over 100 students had arrived.
“He was funny in his own awkwardness,” said 5th-semester history major Jason Foberg. “The show started off a little slow, but it really picked up.”
“The start tonight was definitely a little colder. Normally I can fire them up off right off the bat,” said Lee. “I even said during the show, ‘You guys will come around, this is going to be great.’ And I was right. It ended up being really fun.”
One way Lee countered the awkward cold start was using the awkwardness to his advantage.
“He had a lot of self-depreciation during those awkward spots and I really appreciated that,” said SUBOG Comedy Chairman Nick Brigis. Brigis is a 3rd-semester business management major.
“Whenever we bring a new comedian to UConn, we never know how it’s going to turn out,” said Brigis. “We definitely got more people than I expected for our first comedy night, and I could tell the crowd really enjoyed him.”
“I love comedy,” said 5th- semester biology major Jordan Albano. “I came to a few shows last semester, and I liked it. This was a good crowd compared to the other shows I’ve been to and was a lot of fun.”
When preparing for a college show, Lee does things a little differently than usual.
“Sometimes I’ll think of something I want to say about the town or school to get the crowd warmed up, and a lot of times I like to go up there and wing it off the top my head,” said Lee.
Some of his jokes about UConn consisted of sarcastically referring to how awesome it must be to live in Storrs. Students not only laughed at, but applauded this humor.
“I found that with college audiences, it’s different than with a comedy club. They like interaction and real moments, so that’s why I made connections with people in the audience,” said Lee.
”I’m a big believer that comedy is about bringing people together and not making them feel uncomfortable. I always make sure, if I am every joking about someone in the crowd, that they are laughing, too,” said Lee.
“I suggested Pete’s name at the SUBOG meeting,” said Brigis. “After watching his clips, we all agreed we wanted him here, and we’re glad he came.”
This year, Lee was selected as a semi-finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and started filming his own Comedy Central Presents special in August.
He made his television debut on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, and went on to place seventh out of 100 contestants in Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Showdown.
“Everyone was definitely very receptive and said how much they loved the show and the jokes,” said Lee. “I love getting the feedback and knowing that it went really well.”