It was a night of comedy with Daily Show alums John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac in the Staller Center on March 11, 2013. Although the Stony Brook USG hosted show had to be rescheduled from its original date of February 11 on account of a blizzard, the theater was still full of excited students.
Indeed, Cenac, a comedian from Dallas who wrote and performed on The Daily Show from 2008 until 2012, and Oliver, a British immigrant who has been writing and performing for The Daily Show since 2006, were highly anticipated by the enthusiastic crowd.
“I can’t wait for this,” said freshman Jannelle Patrick. While Patrick occasionally attends other USG events, she stressed that this was one she “couldn’t miss.”
Similarly, freshman Nikolai Hersfeldt said that it wasn’t typical for him to attend these sort of events, but he added that he was glad that “Oliver [would] come and be British at us.”
After a loud round of applause, Cenac took the stage, setting the tone of the evening by thanking Stony Brook for not making him perform at the Wang Center. Cenac’s comedy, though varied, often ended with poignant and pointed social commentary. He cited the Kardashians as proof of the privilege of wealth, for example, and likened the drones to new iPhones in the hand of a hipster United States.
Once Cenac left the stage, Oliver entered with a cry of “Thank fuck that election is finally over.” Oliver’s humor was more animated and directly political, centering on the idea that “democracy is like a tambourine; not everyone can be trusted with it.” Embracing his status as a recent immigrant, Oliver offered an outsider’s perspective on what he claimed were quintessential moments in American history, such as the invention of the T-shirt cannon and an obsession with mermaids.
Oliver seemed to be the crowd favorite, as his jokes were met with louder laughs.
Most students left smiling, and many were retelling both comedians’ jokes as they left the theater. All in all, the show appeared to be a success.