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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

A funny and relaxed night at ‘Mondays with Morrie’

Published: March 21, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc., Top Stories

This past Monday night, Chum’s hosted “Mondays with Morrie,” a semi-regular campus comedy show. The night featured performances that ranged from stand-up routines to improv games, all performed and run by students in the comedy community. The topics ran the gamut from religion to hangovers.

For those who don’t know, Chum’s is a cozy coffeehouse nestled in the corner of the Castle. It’s a very homey environment at times and the perfect spot for low-key events designed to reduce stress like this comedy show, which ran from 9-11 p.m.

The first performer was Jason Kasman ’16, who did stand-up comedy. The audience, while still small so early in the night, had a good time laughing at his jokes. His routine revolved around a kid who tried to convert to another religion when he was in elementary school. At one point, Kasman stood away from the microphone and performed a magic trick where he stuck a coin into his ear and then sneezed it out of his nose.

Sam Daniels ’16 performed stand-up for the first time, announcing during her set that she was a “stand-up virgin” no longer. Daniels elicited laughter from the audience throughout her routine as she cracked jokes about her love life and common college experiences.

Fiona Merullo ’16 also had a memorable stand-up comedy performance. She made very relatable jokes and discussed everyday experiences, offering an interesting perspective on what most people consider to be mundane matters. Although I don’t watch the TV show “Breaking Bad,” I’ve heard enough stories from other people to know that the show is dramatic and full of tension. Merullo explained that she is very on edge while she watches it. Given that most people have already seen the episodes and posted about it on Twitter, she said, she gets hysterical while watching the show, unsure when dramatic and pivotal moments will occur. “Walter’s making a sandwich. Ooh, something bad’s going to happen! It’s probably going to explode, or maybe he’s going to combust and die,” she exclaimed and the audience laughed.

Another funny tidbit she mentioned was how hangovers might not be such a bad thing, because they are a physical reminder of how you shouldn’t have done something. If you wake up without a hangover, she explained, you don’t realize that that there are consequences to your actions—unless you sent some late night text messages while you were drunk, in which case that would be a substantial reminder. Merullo performed halfway into the night, keeping the mood up and the comedy great.

After the stand-up performances, some members in the audience participated in some improv games. Many people were willing to participate and there ended up being fewer members remaining in the audience than there were participating on stage. It was entertaining, and I was surprised that the show was so active and intent on audience participation. Participants gave very simple and witty answers to the statement “I like my men/women like I like my (the audience supplied nouns such as ‘hats’).” It was exciting to see how fast people were able to think on their feet.

“Mondays with Morrie” (a play on the title of Brandeis alum Mitch Albom’s best selling “Tuesdays with Morrie”) had a very laid-back environment. Although most people who attended the event were already involved with comedy on campus, the very easygoing atmosphere provided for an entertaining night where newcomers could take risks and participate in the show if they so chose.