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Hughes mixes comedy and cards

By Brendon Field
On November 29, 2012

In the sixth and final SUBOG-sponsored comedy event of the semester, comedian and magician Derek Hughes entertained a crowd of students Thursday evening in the Student Union Theatre.
Hughes' material was a mix of stand-up incorporated with rope and card tricks, as well as several bits of rope and card magic. Hughes took classic illusions such as changing the lengths of rope and recurring individual playing cards, and added a level of sardonic wit.
He also interacted frequently with the audience, bringing multiple students on stage and making sure their comedic contributions did not cease with the trick. Toward the end of his show, Hughes brought a skeptical audience member on stage, surprising him with a chosen card placed into a sealed envelope half an hour prior.
"I like how he took a skeptic up. I thought it was very smart, and made for a better trick," said James Erisoty, a 5th-semester business management major.
Hughes claimed he had the ability to read minds, or as he called, channel the collective unconscious, which he displayed by correctly guessing the names students were thinking of. His non-magical comedy included jokes about reality television, his home in Minnesota, and roller coasters, and how Americans needed them to get a sense of danger and thrills. "There's no Six Flags Baghdad" was one of his quips. Hughes was unafraid to include explicit sexual humor, stating "The Bachelor" would be much more entertaining if one of the twists was that several of the women had herpes.
This was not Hughes' first performance at UConn. Nick Brigis, a 3rd-semester business management major and head of the SUBOG comedy committee, said, "We had him open for Bo Burnham last year. He only had 30 minutes, and the crowd really seemed to like him. So we thought we would have a good turnout, and if he was successful once, he would be successful again, more so because he had more time."
Student reaction to Hughes was very positive. Glenn Murphy, a 1st-semester electrical engineering major, said, "His mannerisms were the perfect supplement to his personality and performance. Also, 'fly zipper up...FLY ZIPPER DOWN, WE'RE GONNA MAKE HISTORY!'
Murphy is referring to Hughes' finale, in which he made a card vanish midair, and soon after reappear in the back of his pants, a move Hughes energetically stated would make him famous.
 


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