Written by Alma Aguilar
Megaphone Advertisement ManagerThe University Programming Council’s (UPC) Friday Night Live kick- off event proved to be a success. On Friday, September 5th, comedian Paul Varghese performed for over 200 SU students at The Cove. Varghese has been making audiences laugh nationwide for over seven years now with sarcasm and jokes about things that everyone has thought about but never imagined to could be made into such funny jokes.
He was a contestant in NBC’s Last Comic Standing and has appeared on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham as well as Telemundo’s Loco Comedy Jam. His resume surely caught Daniel Waite’s eye when choosing this year’s Friday Night Live line up.
“His comedy is intelligent and we thought that his comedy would go good at Southwestern,” said Daniel Waite, University Programming Council Chair.
Throughout Vargheses’ performance, all you could hear were chuckles from the audience. Everyone responded well to almost all of his jokes, excluding those that dealt with mentally challenged individuals. At that point, many people gasped and he apologized for the comment, saying “I’m the one going to hell. Not you guys.”
It seemed that his motive for that joke was to see how far he could go with his punch lines and then set a limit based on that. He found out the wrong way that many SU students will not tolerate jokes containing stereotypes or insults in general. Besides that, his punch lines kept rolling and the audience was constantly laughing. At one point, he even asked a girl if she was okay because she was laughing uncontrollably and could not breathe.
My favorite joke of his act was when he talked about a time when he was driving his convertible with the top down and had to stop at a light where a homeless person was panhandling. He explained the awkward feeling he had since he was directly next to the homeless man with no barrier between them, but he ignored the man’s presence and refused to give him any money. Everyone in the room seemed to truly enjoy that joke too, either because they could relate to the moment, or maybe because he able to get everyone to imagine it.
During his performance, Varghese mentioned that he was from Dallas. Audience members from Dallas cheered, but one Dallas Cowboys fan in particular decided to express his love for the team by yelling “Go Cowboys” in a voice bordering on manic. He was in the front row, so Varghese was able to integrate the phrase into his show and make a hilarious observation about it. He speculated that the audience member had been holding it in for quite a while and that eventually it would have come out. Varghese then explained to the gentleman that, while it was okay to express his love for the Cowboys during the show, it was not okay to do it during a Chemistry lab or, even worse (or better), during sex. After Varghese’s joke, I wonder if the audience member will ever be able to express his affection for the Cowboys the same way again.
While Varghese gave a great performance, I enjoyed the opening act a bit more. Mark Agee was hilarious and was able to warm up the crowd. The only downside to Agee’s performance is that I overheard some people complaining that his act was too racist and sexist for their taste. Though Agee’s act was more controversial than Varghese’s, he also gave everyone a good laugh.
Both comedians brought different elements to the show and were able to keep the crowd laughing. They were a great combination and it was like getting two shows for the price of one, even though Friday Night Live events are free.
UPC was also impressed with Varghese’s performance and mentioned that maybe in a couple of years, if he is still touring, they might be willing to bring him back to SU.
“I could see him coming back to campus down the road,” said Waite.
Overall, the show was a success and seemed to be truly enjoyed by everyone who attended. Yet again, UPC brought a great act to campus to entertain students.
If you are interested in being involved in the process of bringing acts like these to campus, you should join UPC. It is a great way to meet people and be involved on the SU campus. They are currently looking for new members. If you are interested you can contact Daniel Waite at or Hector Ruiz at .