Nate Bargatze’s performance Tuesday night was the refresher UNM students and families were seeking after the recent election. Student showed up in droves to see the comic who has been featured on late night TV.
The SUB ballroom was set up like a typical stage performance, with chairs placed so close together you would uncomfortably bump the person next to you for the rest of the night.
In front of the stage were small round tables with glistening gold candle holders, hinting at a VIP area that no one dared to sit at. As an ASUNM spokesperson invited the audience to their tables, they quickly filled up with overzealous guests. Chips and salsa were offered to stave off the hunger of anticipation.
A few minutes after 7 p.m., people began to wonder if there would be a show at all. As the ballroom grew crowded, organizers rushed to retrieve more seats as students refused to sit anywhere else but with their friends.
“I hope this is a good show,” and “I bet he writes his own jokes” were murmured in the crowd.
The lights suddenly dropped as someone shouted “Woohee,” A man with a ponytail and bowtie came onstage, and at this point I am thinking, “This cannot be the man on the poster we have seen plastered around campus.” He introduces Nate Bargatze and hops off stage.
The comedian told tales of his travels across the country during his tour. Some seeming a little hyperbolic, but what would comedy be without exaggeration? His performance consisted of being stared down by the owners of Walter White’s house while taking the cliche “Breaking Bad” tour, and experiencing a live alligator escape from a sketchy underground zoo.
His jokes touched on things many college students wouldn’t have experience with, such as marriage, kids and fatherhood, but he managed to keep the crowd laughing. His attitude reminded me of a Louis C.K. performance, using his deadpan expression and self-deprecating style to his benefit.
He put an interesting spin on marriage, as he explained when he and his wife had a fight at 3 a.m. one night about their dog that was scared of thunder. Bargatze laughed at himself as he told the audience he should have thought about that before waking up his wife.
Hailing from Tennessee, Nate said that the South is too polite for its own good, causing southerners more heartache for themselves than they realize. He joked that drivers never get through four way stops due to everyone wanting the other to go first. He said he traveled to Tennessee from New York for his daughter to be born because he did not want her thinking she’s better than everyone else.
The crowd seemed to enjoy the show, laughing at all of Bargatze’s comic relief, which even featured an impromptu performance when his mic failed. His charismatic personality shined throughout the performance.
At the end of the show, the crowd felt as one. We had all shared a hilarious experience by a comic many of us had never heard of. ASUNM made a smart decision in choosing this performer and offering it free of charge to anyone who showed up.
Nikole McKibben is a reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @nmckibben92.