Student stand-up class’ final is no joke

Cory Johnson

Contributing Writer

Who says you can’t teach comedy?

Instructor John Porter’s Stand-up Comedy Class not only proves those people wrong, but also has fun doing it as they gave their final exam performances at Richmond Triangle Players on Wednesday night.

The night proved not only to be entertaining but also diverse as students showed off their differing routines and comedic styles after a semester of hard work.

Richmond Triangle Players, located off North Boulevard, offered their stage for the student’s final exam, which also doubled as a benefit event for Triangle Players and charged a $5 cover as an entrance fee for audience members. All of the night’s profits went to the venue.

For the past three years that Porter has been teaching the crash course in stand-up comedy, he said he has made students perform in the club as their final exams.  Porter said he wants his students to have a real-life experience for their last performance.

The stand-up comedy class is a theatre elective open to all students, but is usually filled with theatre students. This semester, the class is inhabited by mass communications majors, English majors and even environmental science majors as students learn about the class from former students and stand-up comics around the Richmond area.

“I clicked register as a joke,” said James Brooks, a sophomore mass communications major, just hours before he took the stage for his set.

Brooks took time in his set to address the unofficial April 20 holiday, hipsters and the harder-to-tackle topic of religion.

Students worked on their routines all semester, performing three or four times in front of the class and receiving constructive criticism afterward. Some students have been working on their acts for longer, going to open mics around the city.

During Thursday’s final exam, each student presented with his or her own unique style of comedy. With styles such as alternative, performance and just plain angry, students covered a wide range of topics: hipsters, car accidents, fat people, and porn to name a few.

“We get to have a lot of fun and do some serious work; they just don’t realize how much fun it can be to do the work,” Porter said.

Theatre 491 is offered as a spring elective only.

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