Jay Pharoah and Matteo Lane charm crowds with deadpans and jokes on “A Stand Up Comedy Show”

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When asked to do a Will Smith impersonation, Jay Pharoah, known for his place in impersonations, replied, “I’m not a jukebox, motherfucker!”

The energy at University Union’s “A Stand Up Comedy Show” was electric as Pharoah, alongside fellow comedian Matteo Lane and host AJ Foster, captivated the crowd with deadpan jokes and banter. . The show touched on a variety of topics, including politics, travel, and decorating video games.

The show started with Foster, who compared himself to a boring YouTube commercial.

“Except you can’t jump me after the first five seconds,” he said.



Foster then introduced Lane, who before deciding to do comedy was an oil painter and opera singer. Lane, an advocate for gay comedians, went straight to the point about his identity in his introduction.

“Hi everyone, thank you very much! I’m obviously gay,” he said.

Like many, Lane found the pandemic a difficult time to connect with friends, so he turned to video game favorites Call of Duty and Fortnite. Lane applauded Fortnite – what he called the gay version of Call of Duty – for its particular ability to combine action and aesthetics.

“It’s like you’re killing and decorating at the same time,” Lane said. “You’re like, ‘Cease the fire! But could you add a bay window?’

Lane detailed his newfound fascination with the Travel Channel’s ghost-hunting-themed programming during his set.
Megan Jones | Collaborating photographer

Another popular quarantine pastime for the comedian was flipping through TV channels. “The Great British Baking Show” revealed to Lane that US food programs are unnecessarily aggressive. He also joked that he found out that the Travel Channel somehow only airs ghost hunting shows.

He was particularly captivated by “Ghost Adventures”, especially a clip of Zak Bagans announcing that he is a demonologist. Lane wondered which would be worse, presenting himself to his parents as gay or as a demonologist.

“Mom, dad, I’m going into demonology,” he mimed. Changing his tone to impersonate a relative, he said, “We prefer that you … suck ad * ck. At least it’s there.

Immediately afterwards, Pharoah was heard cackling hysterically from backstage.

As he is of Italian and Mexican descent, Lane learned Italian and Spanish. But he was fluent in Italian before Spanish, and now he can’t change his accent at will — when Lane talks to Latinos, they often say he looks like Mario, he said.

Some countries Lane visited aren’t very accepting of the LGBTQ community, something he said he discovered during a trip to Italy.

“Italy can be a bit homophobic. You know, the Vatican,” he said as the crowd laughed. “It’s so funny, it’s just a bunch of men in robes, no women , and they’re like, ‘No gays!'”

After about half an hour, Lane returned the scene to Foster. After making a few hits back when he, a black man, lived in Whitesboro, New York, Foster introduced the “Saturday Night Live” alum. Pharoah, already adored by the crowd, danced on stage.

It was Pharoah’s first college show since the pandemic, he said. Luckily, he could continue the comedy while adhering to social distancing guidelines; Pharoah did a few drive-in shows in the early months of the pandemic. While this kind of venue might sound like a great idea, the honking and flashing of headlights in exchange for applause shocked Pharoah as a performer.

“It’s one thing to leave someone’s show,” Pharoah said. “But when you walk out (of the room), it’s a different disrespect.”

He continued with “Hope you pop your tire!”

Pharoah confessed to the crowd that his first name is not Jay and he is actually Jared. Although he has changed his name, he still appreciates his birth name when making dinner reservations over the phone – he said he gets a better response when it rings white.

“I knew what my mom was doing,” he said. “She was preparing me for a bright white future!”

During the Trump administration, as Pharoah recalled, politics was extremely difficult to ignore,
but it gave him the perfect opportunity to master the impressions of prominent political figures. Pharoah nailed Barack Obama’s effortlessly smooth voice, as well as Donald Trump’s classic pursed lips and dramatic hand gestures.

“I never watched CNN more than ESPN in my life,” Pharoah said.

While he’s able to laugh — and joke — about it now, on April 26, 2020, Pharoah was wrongfully detained by the Los Angeles Police Department. They were looking for a black man in sweatpants and a sweatshirt — “so, all the black guys in America?” Pharaoh said – and so he was arrested. After police realized he wasn’t the one they were looking for and mistook him for Pharoah’s former ‘SNL’ co-star Michael Che, they released him, he said. he declares.

Pharoah then made a few calls to family members, all of whom had different reactions. His mother was worried about him and asked him if he was okay, to which Pharoah replied, “I experienced it. I can talk about my story. You have black people who won’t be able to talk about it tomorrow; I’m fine, mom.

His father, on the other hand, was hardly surprised. Her grandmother, Gertrude, insisted that Pharaoh call her if anything happened again. When he asked why, she clearly said, “Imma f*ck. Their. At the top.”

The show ended with the same vibrant energy it started – the audience roared with applause.

In a post-show interview, Lane got real about her tour. Although he enjoys visiting new neighborhoods, trying new restaurants, interacting with crowds and performing as a whole, traveling so often can be very tedious.

Lane credited his background in comedy to his large family. Lane experienced trauma as a child – and everyone around him used humor to cope.

As a gay comedian working for better representation in the industry, Lane always strives for personal authenticity in his work. For future LGBTQ comedians, he recommends the same.

“Everyone who came out, and themselves, are good,” he said. “Come out, be proud and be yourself.”

As for Pharoah, “SNL” allowed him to master and become comfortable in comedy. He learned to produce material efficiently because he had to audition for his role every week.

For those considering getting into comedy, Pharoah suggests getting back to basics and being authentic.

“Be yourself, don’t be afraid. Don’t limit yourself,” he said. “Don’t feel like you have to censor yourself, and that’s how you strike gold.”

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