By Erica Sabel
Last month in Kimmel, students lined up to see two stars from MTV’s acclaimed shows “Girl Code” and “Guy Code”, Tanisha Long and Akaash Singh. The audience, as both performers noted consisted of an overwhelming female majority and “about six guys”, was treated to stand up from both comics as well as a lengthy Q&A session.
Singh began the night with a set of his own stand-up, mostly comprised of hilarious jokes made at the expensive of the audience, noting their tendencies to quickly become offended. He began the night by interacting with the audience, asking what people were studying and praising his fellow Indians for pursuing majors such as biochemistry and computer science. When asking the audience for examples of “stupid” majors, a dance major used her program as an example. Singh’s agreement with that statement, however, did not sit well with the crowd and was the first of many unwarranted negative reactions to his punchlines.
Most negative reactions to Singh’s jokes were unnecessary and highlighted people’s tendencies to become easily angered for the sake of remaining politically correct, even when the comedic statements are clearly tinged with sarcasm. Singh shook off any negative reactions and seamlessly twisted any bad response to end with big laughs. In the Q&A portion of the night, Singh noted that “in a comedy show… not everything is real”, and that a comedy set cannot be successful if “[people] don’t stop getting offended” at nearly every joke. Singh’s set contained hilarious jokes catered directly to NYU students and his jokes felt authentic and personal, as if the audience was hanging out with a friend and not at an open-mic night.
The biggest screams of the night came when Long took the stage. Long immediately made herself comfortable with the mostly female audience, and stated off-the-bat that she really “just came here to talk about [her] period”. Aside from her occasional apologies of spaciness caused by her time of the month, Long really provided the audience a crash course on adulthood. The young-at-heart 31 year old covered topics ranging from “fleek” to credit scores and everything in between.
While Long’s set was more scripted than Singh’s, as she referred to a list of topics she planned on covering throughout the night, she still took time to get to know the audience and make jokes about their experiences. One of Long’s comments about the audience’s diversity struck a chord with some audience members, and they were quick to speak up about their dissatisfaction with racial representation at NYU. As the moment grew deep and the audience became quiet and worrisome, Long quickly retaliated and lightened the mood with a simple “fuck racism”.
Both stand up sets drew large laughs from the audience, and the following Q&A session with Long and Singh prompted many questions about their respective careers and the entertainment industry in general. Most questions were polite and evoked genuine answers from both stars about the sacrifices necessary to be an actor and dealing with racism as people of color in Hollywood. Both comedians took time to point out how polite and sweet the audience was during the Q&A and how the majority of questions they receive at other schools are only sex-related. That pattern changed with the last question of the night, however, when a bold student asked both Singh and Long to recall “the best head they’ve received”, ending the hilarious night on an uncomfortable, shocking note.
Erica Sabel is a Staff Writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org