By Daphne Pellegrino
Students filled about one-quarter of Cole Field House, Joel McHale noted as he took the stage at the Student Entertainment Events’ sponsored homecoming comedy show Oct. 11.
Though it may have only been one-quarter of the arena, the crowd was full of laughter that filled the entire building as McHale delivered his set. He poked fun at everyone from pop culture icons and his two sons, to the sign language interpreter seated at the front of the stage, whom he humored by saying obscenities for her to sign.
Sophomore economics major Nazar Bedi, a “huge” McHale fan, was especially pleased when the star of NBC’s “Community” and E!’s “The Soup” made jokes about his friend Ryan Seacrest.
“I love when he makes fun of Ryan Seacrest, which he does a lot,” Bedi said. “I think it’s hilarious. Seeing their banter on “The Soup” is a lot of fun.”
McHale’s performance followed a half-hour set from comedian J.F. Harris, a Staten Island, N.Y. native who got the crowd laughing about the horrors of dating, his conservative father and an experience he had planning a friend’s bachelor party at a strip club.
“Strip clubs are not my cup of tea,” Harris said. “Tea is my cup of tea.”
McHale also adopted this personal approach to his performance, telling stories about all of the people he has personally angered as host of “The Soup,” including the Kardashians, Hugh Hefner and his own grandmother.
“I’m a d—,” McHale said. “Professional.”
McHale opened his performance by cracking some jokes about Maryland’s state sports (officially jousting, though he noted that lacrosse was definitely the unofficial state sport) and this university’s mascot. By the end, he had the crowd laughing at longer stories about his family and his experiences raising his two young sons.
He closed his performance with a few quick jabs at the state of New Jersey, reminding the crowd that he needed to get off stage promptly for the fireworks show that was following his set.
“So, I should go before the people from New Jersey kill me,” McHale said.
Junior Jessica Blum, a broadcast journalism and government and politics double major, was not entirely pleased with McHale’s set and thought that some of his language was offensive.
“I thought he was mostly funny, but I thought some of his jokes were a little over the line and a little offensive,” Blum said. “I know that’s a touchy subject, because a lot of people think there are no limits for comedy, but I do think he crossed the lines a couple of times. He used ‘retarded’ to mean stupid and I think that’s really offensive”
As students exited the field house, members of Student Entertainment Events were waiting outside with flyers announcing a surprise Kevin Hart on-campus comedy show on Nov. 1, which has since sold out.