Chicago comedians keep crowd in stitches at BSU Comedy Jam

By Rachel McLaughlin | 2/10/13 5:50pm

The Kirkhof Center’s Grand River Room filled with roaring laughter during Friday night’s Comedy Jam, hosted by the Grand Valley State University Black Student Union. This year, the BSU event featured Chicago comedians Ray Lapowski and headliner Damon Williams.

Diversity played a starring role in the comedians’ act, their jokes reflecting the differences in culture between races.

“White is ‘plain Jane’ while black people are over the top,” Lapowski said as the comedians walked the thin line between too funny and too far.

“I don’t tell jokes,” Lapowski said, warning the audience at the beginning of his set not too take anything he said on stage too personally. “I tell the truth.”

From picking on audience members to picking on the whole group, he kept the crowd engaged as he told stories about being a white man that married into a black family, sticking too the old mantra that “it’s funny because it’s true” through tall tales of drugs, “stupid people doing stupid things,” and public bathroom etiquette.

Lapowski joked about the misuse of “swear words,” and taught the audience how to steal candy; which, for the record, is as easy as “Head down, stay low. No face, no case; look away from the camera,” for future reference.

And though Lapowski’s set was mostly light-hearted, he left the audience with words of wisdom: “It’s far more important to know who your friends aren’t than who they are. People make time for the people they want to make time for.”

Between comedians, hosts gave brief histories of other famous comedians, like Katt Williams, and how comedy has come to be what it is today – a field that is always changing and evolving.

Damon Williams hit the stage dancing, greeted by a cheering audience that danced along with the headliner as hip-hop blared through the speakers.

“I believe you should laugh every chance you get,” Williams told the audience.

Williams quickly switched back and forth between topics, talking about everything from the not-so-fashionable trend of leggings to the ever-increasing deadliness of the world around us.
He joked about social media, the autocorrect feature on smartphones, and Facebook user names.

In his opinion, it’s always best to keep it classic.

“Don’t put your whole life philosophy as your middle name,” Williams said.

Williams’ high energy narratives didn’t stop with hi jokes, but continued in the lapses between, where he sang a little bit of gospel and R&B samples that had spectators singing along and dancing out of their seats.

“At first I was apprehensive but as soon as the first comedian came on stage, I spent the rest of the night laughing,” said audience member Julia Stavale.

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