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Student earns funny gig

Thursday was an incredibly unpredictable day for me.

The only thing I was certain of was that Colin Quinn, formerly a comedian on “Saturday Night Live,” was going to be performing in Woodward Hall. “Great,” I thought to myself, “Quinn is going to be in the most dreaded lecture hall of them all, the sight of many mid-afternoon psychology naps.” All day long, friends came up to me with flyers, saying people were needed to open his show. Hoping to be one of them, I called the number on the flyer and left several messages.

Seeing how it was already Thursday, I did not expect a call back. At that point, standing on, or being anywhere near a stage, was the last thing on my mind. Even further from my mind was the idea of sharing a stage with Quinn, and, for that matter, even being in the room with someone who had been on a television show that people actually watch. Somehow, however, I was in these positions by the time Thursday night became Friday morning.

Sponsors of the Comedy Lab besieged our campus. Each of the event’s sponsors had their own tents and, hoping to perform, I went to the Comedy Lab’s tent. Once there I was given a waiver to fill out and then was handed a microphone. A guy sat with a camera and told me to say whatever funny thing came to my mind. I began to ramble, and by the time I even got a clear thought, my time was done. Feeling discouraged about not having been funny on camera, and thinking that this was how participants in Quinn’s show were going to be chosen, I went home. I later got a call from a Comedy Lab representative who told me to show up at Woodward as soon as I could.

I hurried to Woodward from my night class and found myself in the same room as Quinn. We began talking about traveling and his career. He told me about how tough it is to make it in a career such as comedy, then gave me his autograph. He also said he is pleased that his face can be seen on “Saturday Night Live” reruns on Comedy Central, but was disappointed about not receiving residuals from the shows. All in all, Quinn was very nice and very exhausted from a long tour. From Albuquerque, he went to Long Island, and, therefore, had no time for my offerings of green chili. He was a good guy, and I could understand his stress because his career is one in which a person is never certain of what’s next.

What was next for me was a competition with a friend on stage, and lucky for me, I won. It was only my fourth time doing comedy and my competitor’s first time. I won a trophy for winning the competition and hope to hear something from the Comedy Lab. But, above all that, the next day I got to meet some of the people I made laugh, and no feeling is sweeter.

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