The BOB hosts the national stand-up comedy showcase

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Photo by Jason Babcock
Joe Zimmerman, the evening’s first comic.

By Ray Potts

Dr. Grins, at the comedy club inside The BOB, hosted the National Stand-up Comedy Showcase on Saturday to a sold-out crowd. The show included five comedians whose styles were all diverse and unique, but had the audience laughing throughout.

The first to take the stage was Joe Zimmerman, who told the audience, “Go ahead, cast your ballots and vote for me, I’m the best one so far.”

He started out by saying he was concerned he has Attention Deficit Disorder, but he thinks it could be made up.

“One of the symptoms of A.D.D. is having the inability to concentrate on things you find boring,” he said. “Isn’t that what being bored is?”

Zimmerman then went on to say he had trouble meeting girls when he was younger because he grew up in a religious town in West Virginia, but he wasn’t a religious person.

“What’s your denomination?” Zimmerman said, impersonating a teenage girl. He then look to the crowd in confusion, “umm…Democrat?”

When talking about animal attack scenarios, Zimmerman offered the crowd some advice.

“If you get attacked by a shark, just put it in a headlock and bring it ashore, everyone knows that”, said Zimmerman. “If you get attacked by a giant snapping turtle, first you’re just gonna want to walk away. If it starts chasing you, you’re gonna wanna keep walking.”

Next to perform was Baron Vaughn, who took the stage wearing clothes as what he describes as “middle school bus driver on his night off” mixed with “guy who desperately wants to impress his girlfriend’s parents because they’re of a different race.” Vaughn, who grew up in Las Vegas, said he never got the same feeling of heading home to Las Vegas as the feeling the tourists get when they vacation there.

“Every time I’m on a plane heading to Vegas I hear groups of male tourists talking about partying with cocaine and hookers and all I got as a response is ‘I’m gonna crash on the couch at my mom’s house’.”

When describing the three things he hates most, Vaughn said “Waking up, racism, and small dogs. So the worst thing I could experience is waking up with a noose around my neck in front of a burning cross surrounded by chihuahuas.”

The third to take the stage was Cameron Esposito, who warned the audience to avoid “Irish on Ionia.”

“It’s not getting any better, people have been out there drinking before 2 p.m.! You aren’t gonna run into anyone who said ‘I’ve been drinking for 8 hours, in the mean time I have gotten my degree online’,” said Esposito, as the audience howled in laughter.

Sensing the crowd was laughing at her jean jacket, Esposito explained her look to the audience, “As you can guess by my hair cut I am a Thundercat, and also a giant lesbian. Come on! I have a side-mullet! I didn’t choose my sexuality, but I did put on this outfit.”

Esposito then explained how at an earlier show a farmer came up to her and said “I’m a conservative dairy farmer, and you won me over.”

She then looked at the audience baffled.

“Wow!” Esposito said, “That’s the nicest way of saying ‘Usually, I would hate you, but tonight you were very funny. But just you!’”

Photo by Jason Babcock
Johnny Pemberton

Next on stage to take the mic was Johnny Pemberton, who ran on stage and starting insulting everyone and even the interior decorations of the club in a Brooklyn accent. After five minutes he finally broke down, dropped the accent and said, “I’m actually not from New York, I’m from Minnesota. I just wanted to come to Laughfest and be someone.”

Pemberton then described his frustration of living in Los Angeles and being mistaken for a woman by the homeless.

“Three different bums have thought I was a woman, on three different occasions!” He said, “When the homeless start recognizing you as a woman, you really have to assess your life.”

After telling the crowd that he was going to try out for the Beatles “Cirque Du Soleil”, Pemberton brought an audience member on stage and danced awkwardly sensual on him to a creepy, down-tempoed version of “Strawberry Fields Forever”, as the audience cackled in laughter.

The last to take the stage was Aparna Nancherla, who started off her set by saying “Don’t worry everyone, I wasn’t what I was expecting either.”

While pondering how much she hates the cold, she also can’t stand beach season.

“Most women go with the one-piece, or the two-piece. I go with the three-piece, which is just a men’s business suit,” said Nancherla.

She also doesn’t seem very fashion-conscious, saying, “I would describe my fashion sense as ‘before picture’.”

Recently she’s been living in New York, but she’s weary about the city.

“If you like hardship, move to New York, because the city is constantly in a game of ‘Say Uncle’ with you. It’s pretty bad when the homeless there have a better career than you,” said Nancherla.

Nancherla also doesn’t understand why fruit is an option on the dessert menu.

“Whenever I see fruit on the menu, I always think it’s an option you can throw out, like a bad answer on a multiple-choice test,” she said.

Nancherla also isn’t afraid to share her emotion side, saying “I think any pizza can be a personal pizza if you’re crying while you eat it.”

When everyone was done performing, the audience gave a round of applause and met the performers in the back of the club. All the performers were eager to shake hands, talk to everyone, and thanked them for coming out and supporting stand-up comedy.

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