About 100 Ohio State students took Valentine’s Day standing up.
Monday was Rooftop Comedy’s fourth annual National College Comedy Competition presented by TBS, where students from 32 American universities try to out-stand each other for a chance to perform at the Just For Laughs comedy festival.
“It’s been amazing to watch this competition grow over the past four years into the largest comedy series of its kind,” said Will Rogers, the Rooftop CEO, on NCCC’s website.
The favorite eight comedians were selected by audience vote to form OSU’s comedy team. Four of whom are current members of OSU’s 8th Floor Improv Comedy Group, who perform around campus.
Xavier Dunson, a third-year in biomedical engineering and a member of 8th Floor, stood up for the audience and posed this question: “If I got AIDS from Cher, would I have a case of the charades?” This and other clever one-liners earned him a spot on the OSU comedy team.
Many of those who performed can be seen each week working on their routines at local bars on open mic stand-up nights. But for some, it was the first time they’d performed their routine in public.
“It was fun,” said Chris Pilkington, a third-year in journalism. “It was clearly my first time — my hands were shaking. I just thought of it as an opportunity to go up there and try something new. I wasn’t even thinking about the competition.”
Despite his nerves, Pilkington was selected to represent OSU in the nationwide competition for the funniest college student.
The eight members of each comedy team will be filmed and profiled on the TBS website, according to TBS.com. The audience and a panel of judges will select four members of each comedy team to advance as the starting lineup.
Of the 21 comedians who signed up, 13 people didn’t make as big of an impression on the audience’s funny bones. But they didn’t go down without a few laughs.
Mark Hale, 24, a former member of 8th Floor, gave a laughable performance, but wasn’t selected as a finalist.
“My buddy used to know the drummer of Panic! at the Disco, but that was back when they were just Mild Disturbance at the Prom,” he said.
Hale said he wasn’t sure if he was going to perform, having been told it was going to be a lineup of only 20 students. But after some of the listed comedians failed to show up, he said the fact he was able to perform was enough for him.
After dwindling the contestants down to the four funniest college students, they will perform at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Chicago in June alongside well-known comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres and Cedric the Entertainer.
You can support the OSU comedy team by keeping updated and voting at tbs.com/college.