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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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GV holds Last Laker Standing semifinals

The top ten student comedians, out of the original 25 at GVSU, competed in the semifinals of Last Laker Standing, a stand-up comedy competition, on Saturday at the Kirkof Center. Comedian and former Last Laker Standing winner Allen Trieu hosted Spotlight Productions’ seventh annual competition and had the whole audience of friends, family, and students laughing at his jokes about marriage, texting, and Facebook when he performed. “LLS should be broadcasted to more students. More people should definitely come,” said audience member Cat Cieslinski. After Trieu performed a handful of to jokes warm up the crowd, Aric Pike took stage first. Though seemingly nervous, Pike gave the audience an idea of the comedy to come, foul language not absent from anyone’s set.

Vincenzo Pavano, originally from Italy, related his jokes to his first year in America with students picking on him for his thick accent and inability to understand the language.

“What better joke to tell than the story of my life? I truly believe you have to laugh at yourself,” Pavano said.

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GVL / Robert Mathews
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GVL / Robert Mathews

Third was Tim Harkins, the only freshman in the competition, who used his class to begin his set: “I knew I was in college when the books we had to read weren’t on Sparknotes anymore,” Harkins said.

The comics, Trieu included, had to perform while being heckled by a rowdy member of the audience, Patrick, during almost every set. Trieu took this in stride and made him a part of his performance by asking him questions and teasing him.

Luis Valencia used his few minutes of stage-time to joke about turning 21 and his theory of how to complete a New Years’ resolution: Brush your teeth often because you won’t want to eat anything after. Following Valencia was Jacob Gujardo who had the audience nearly in tears from laughter.

Gujardo poked fun at himself and women’s fashion: “I heard girls spend like an hour doing a messy bun. If you’re going to spend an hour to do that, just do your hair.” After Gujardo’s set Trieu informed the audience the show was half way through, giving them time to circle names on their ballots for their top five favorite comics, and giving the three student judges panel time to catch up on their voting as well.

Brian Mickens gave students jokes to relate to: “Did this teacher just tell me I was tardy? I’m 24 and I paid for this class.” He centered his set around being a minority in a majority of Caucasians, translating slang for those who don’t understand. Jesse Routhier and Tomas Calvo both joked about bad drivers and road rage, while Kyle Tiller incorporated his electric guitar into his set, singing about his job as a valet.

Last was Vincent Persichetti, another comic that had the crowd reeling with laughter at his jests about perfume commercials and handicap bathrooms.

While the audience voted for their top five comics, Trieu called the comics on stage and asked them each a personal question to get to know them better as he also did with the audience. Trieu preformed again, spouting jokes about his wife and former girlfriends until the ballots were counted. Jacob Guajardo, Vincenzo Pavano, Jesse Routhier, Luis Valencia, and Vincent Persichetti will be moving on to the Last Laker Standing finals on Feb. 16, where the top three comics will win prizes totaling $1,000.

“The event is a great way for everyone to come out and support their fellow students. Last Laker Standing is quickly becoming a new tradition at GVSU and we get more and more attendance and participation every year,” said Tim Hartland, Comedy Committee Chair.

rmclaughlin@lanthorn.com



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