It is only the second week of school and the semester has started out with a bang. This past Friday, Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts proudly presented the unprecedented comedic blend of John Oliver (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live).
The unique combination of the two relevant and political comedians, both from popular television programming, took the Institute by storm as the event was completely sold out by the night of the show.
The spectacle was the perfect welcome for freshmen as well as a treat for all returning Jackets and alumni alike. The success of the presentation marked the beginning of a promising school year.
Though both comedians are famous for their contribution to political humor on their respective television shows, neither of the two focused primarily on political topics in their stand-up routines on Friday night.
This resulted in fresh and delightful materials that were not anticipated by the audience, however still meeting expectations of hilarity in the end.
Seth Meyers, anchor of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment, led off the evening by elaborating on the lifestyle of modern youth in the American culture.
From futons to hangovers to online shopping, nothing was out of bounds or outside the realm of discussion for the young comic.
Meyers also drew material from his experience as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, sharing unforgettable anecdotes on an embarrassing incident with a musical guest as well as a tale involving former Governor Sarah Palin and a man in a moose suit.
Entertaining as the bits were, the highlight of Meyers’ portion of the night came from the audience participation that showed off Meyers’ improvisational skills and highlighted the Tech audience’s appreciation of the comedian. The cooperation and responses from the audience made the evening even more enchanting.
John Oliver took the stage after Meyers, and he went down a more personal and global approach to his one-hour showing of British sophistication.
What led off as a “shocking” announcement of his British background slowly evolved into a personal tale about Oliver’s arrival in America, leading into a commentary on global culture.
The stories involved friendship, fellow comedian Demetri Martin, a stuffed bear that presumptuously predicted Oliver’s end and much more.
Many of Oliver’s staple jokes involved punch lines on cultural differences among the British and Americans which were well received by the audience.
Though a couple of Oliver’s jokes were interrupted due to audience disturbances, these “setbacks” only provided more fuel for the British comic’s clever wit.
The entire experience was particularly enjoyable as both entertainers seemed to have a thorough understanding of their audience. The jokes were not simply generic material that can be performed at any given location, like a New York City stand-up bar.
The Tech-specific humor, along with the Meyers and Oliver’s ability to contrive humor on the spot, confirmed their respective reputations.
Overall, the event was two hours of unstoppable laughter and high energy. Whether it was a night out with your friends, family or a date, John Oliver and Seth Meyers at the Ferst Center was a delightful encounter that successfully kicked off the official first weekend of the semester.
Seth Meyers and John Oliver
Location: Ferst Center for the Arts
Date: Aug. 21, 2009
Duration: 120 min.
Our take: **** 1/2 (out of 5)