The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Wyatt Cenac gives stand-up performance

It wasn’t looking good inside the Green Music Center the hour leading up to Wyatt Cenac’s performance on Feb. 15, since at that point there were more ushers than there were audience members.

Fifteen minutes before the show however, the venue was suddenly flooded with fans trying to find their seats as they prepared themselves for what the Associated Students had been calling the cure to a stressful week.

“The audience plays a huge role. The more engaged they are has a direct effect on the show. If they’re into it then as a comic you get into it more,” said Cenac in an email interview. “It’s symbiotic but the good kind of symbiotic. Not like a tape worm.”

The fans seemed to have held up their end of the bargain, but would Cenac do the same by the end of the night?

Opening for Cenac was Natasha Muse, a transsexual comedian from San Francisco whose jokes centered on what she knew about best; being a tranny.

While some people in the audience didn’t know how to respond at first, she slowly won them over with tips on how to avoid other trannies (blow glitter at them), suggesting we try replacing, “That’s what she said,” with “That’s what Jesus said,” and several well-played dick and lack of dick jokes.

As Muse exited the stage to uproarious laughter and applause, it was time for Cenac to bring the funny, and bring it he did.

Known for being a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” as well as a writer for the animated show “King of the Hill,” Cenac is now looking to focus on his stand-up and making people laugh.

“I always wanted to be a comedian. It’s awful to say but college was kind of a way station for me while I tried to figure out how to do that,” said Cenac. “There wasn’t really a curriculum for comedy when I was in school, so I just made it look like I was taking classes while I focused on other things.”

As soon as he walked on stage, the entire audience exploded with applause.

Cool and collected, Cenac calmly removed a miniature ginger beer from his jacket and proceeded with his set.

Cenac seamlessly transitioned from intelligent and thought-provoking jokes to the slightly more offensive sort, but never made the audience feel uncomfortable.

There was something for everyone and some jokes in particular were easier to relate to than others.

It felt like Cenac had a joke for every subject in his arsenal, be it race, religion, politics or even veganism. A favorite of mine was his comparison of toy stores to strip clubs for children, where you can look, but can’t touch.

Another great joke was his role-reversal in nightclubs, where single guys would just hangout and dance to songs they wouldn’t normally dance to when all the women left. They paid a $20 cover charge, why not make the most of it? And if women wanted to dance with them, they were no longer interested because they just came to have a fun time with their guy friends.

When it came to the subject of Twitter, Cenac admitted he didn’t have one but then shared his genius plan to write down quips he would post to Twitter if he had an account and instead share them with the people in the audience who paid to see him. Why give away something for free when you could get money for it?

He would go on and share a few “tweets” throughout the set, which made me long to see him actually get a Twitter account by the end of the night.

By the end of his performance the crowd was enthusiastic for more, and Cenac killed it joke after joke. It was an entirely different experience seeing him entertain on “The Daily Show” compared to seeing him tell his own jokes on stage.

“I was more interested than excited to see what he would do,” said Nicolas Carujzaa, senior. “I didn’t know if he was going to do a lot of political comedy, or what.”

Overall the crowd seemed to love Cenac’s own brand of humor, as several people stood around in the Green Music Center afterwards reminiscing on their favorite jokes with one another.

“I thought he was really good,” said C.J. Wyre, senior. “I though he did a good job keeping it pretty even in terms of offensive stuff and not.”

Walking away from “The Daily Show” back in December, it will be interesting to see where Cenac lands next after this comedy tour.

“I don’t have any plans to move to Hollywood. I enjoy being able to create and write and perform so the goal is to try and find ways to do that,” said Cenac in an email. “If you know anybody with a TV network and loads of spare money they don’t want please send them my way.”

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