Karate skills, presidential campaign platforms and fresh material graced the stage at the Johnson Coliseum as two of Hollywood’s funniest characters performed at the Kat Comedy Showcase on Monday.
Judah Friedlander, best known for his work on “30-Rock,” and “Reno 911,” “Grown Ups 2,” and “Benchwarmers” star Nick Swardson headlined the fourth annual showcase organized by the Department of Student Activities.
Friedlander opened the night and received a “sitting ovation,” as he pointed out. His signature style of audience interaction was immediately presented as he critiqued audience members’ clapping skills.
Crowd interaction continued when Friedlander surveyed the audience for martial artists. One lucky yellow belt from Magnolia, Texas would be the blunt of the next several jokes as Friedlander went on to explain that he was an “extra-dark black belt” and even demonstrated his skills on stage.
Friedlander played to the audience even more as he began laying out a platform for his future presidential campaign, taking questions on hot political topics and giving his steps to better the situations.
Swardson followed Friedlander and the tone of his comedy was noticeably more crude. Offering critiques on women’s behavior while drunk and the absurdity of men attempting to look tough while drinking “tube drinks,” he interacted not only with the audience but with a police officer monitoring security near the stage. Swardson’s audience survey of cat people versus dog people led to an anecdote of his mother’s “evil” cat attacking him.
Audience members offered their own comedic interjections as students picked up on subtle references to movies Swardson has starred in, such as “Blades of Glory” and “Benchwarmers.”
New material was also presented by Swardson as he often referred to notes he had brought with him on stage. He also alluded to future projects he would like to see produced.
The Kat Comedy Showcase, which is closely related to the Sammypalooza concert series, often brings over 4,000 spectators and left no Bearkat without a good laugh.