“Can I Run My Stand-Up Set By You?” Asks Friend of A Friend
It happened on a night like any other. Jessica Hamm was microwaving her Velveeta Mac n’ Cheese dinner and getting ready to study for midterms when there was a knock at the door. Not thinking much about it, she answered, not knowing that this would be the beginning of a long and harrowing night. Thunder clapped from above. Lightning flashed. Suddenly a man appeared in tight kakhis and a “I hate Mondays,” shirt, wearing a trilbee with a feather sticking out of it. With a hairbrush in one hand and some note cards in the other, he asked the question we all dread.
“He wanted to use the hairbrush as a fake microphone,” Jessica told us. “I told him I needed to study for my midterms but by that point he had already slipped in and started a bit about which way the Iowa River actually flows. He said it’d just be a quick ten minute set.”
It was about three hours before Jessica got a word in. In the meantime she attempted to study but was unable to focus over the awkward pauses where laughing was supposed to apparently be and the occasional joke about being a business major in a liberal arts college (apparently, it’s really hard for him).
Finally, it all came to a close with a banger about bromances that totally didn’t feel like a cry for help. He begged Jessica to give him feedback, saying things like “don’t hold back,” but when Jessica actually went to critique him he started ranting about the nuance of comedy. When he left it was with less of a bang and more of a whimper that sounded like, “this is exactly what you liberals did to Dave Chapelle.”
Jessica told us, “I failed two of my exams that week cuz I couldn’t stop thinking about this one joke he made that was particularly awful about the new Target opening downtown. If his goal was to leave an impression, he certainly did that. I’m haunted.”