Funny February: four nights of nonstop laughter

Seaton Smith poses with students in the Campus Center.

Amanda Smith, Staff Reporter

Andrew Carnegie once said, “There is little success where there is little laughter.”

Perhaps that’s why Lakeland makes it a priority to provide side-splitting entertainment every semester to relieve students’ stress.

Performers Seaton Smith, Chris James, Samuel J. Comroe, and Michael Palascak were this

year’s comedic entertainment for Funny February held every Tuesday night in the pub.

Smith started the month off with his performance on Feb. 5 and said it was one out of twenty shows in a row for him, but a busy schedule certainly didn’t affect his energy on stage.

The pub was packed by the time the show started, and Smith cracked up the crowd right away with his facial expressions, sounds, and actions. At times the crowd did not know how to react, but Smith didn’t sweat it and just moved on to a different joke.

Smith seemed comfortable with the crowd and had a wide variety of stories and jokes to keep the students entertained.

“I think they think it was a good show, but I never really know these things. I know per laughs; I think it went well,” said Smith.

Many enjoyed the show and called Smith hilarious. Jeremy Cain, sophomore business management major, described the performance as “amazingly funny.”

Smith has been interested in comedy since he was ten years old, but his dad made him wait until he was finished with school before he could pursue it as a career.

Smith has since had much success in comedy and has perfomed in almost every state. His favorite thing about comedy is the narcissism, mainly because he “can be narcissistic and be paid for it.”

The college’s second guest comedian was Chris James, who performed on Feb. 12. James was completely different from Smith, but the crowd still responded well to him.

James’ act consisted mainly of stories from his life. The majority of his act involved the crowd asking questions, which he responded to with jokes. He also asked the crowd questions and had jokes to go along with some of the responses.

Peter Ludolph, freshman aviation major, said, “[I] liked his Obama impersonation.”

James has been doing comedy for six years in the United States, England, and South Africa, performing at clubs and colleges.

When asked what he enjoys most about comedy, James said, “I like making people laugh. I like sharing tough experiences. It’s therapeutic in that kind of way.”

One of his favorite places to perform was in South Africa for 3,000 kids.

A major challenge with doing comedy in a variety of places is guessing what different audiences are sensitive to. James keeps his act semi-clean for colleges, so that he can make sure the material is a good fit for that area. Though he is more restricted while performing and it limits some of his material, James welcomes the learning experience.

“For me, one of the most gratifying things about traveling and doing comedy is you learn so much. The audience teaches you a lot,” James said.

On Feb. 19 Samuel Comroe came to the stage with laughs and stories about his life with Tourette Syndrome. He started the night by getting the crowd warmed up with jokes, and put the crowd at ease by explaining about his Tourette syndrome and how it affects him. All of his jokes were about him having Tourette and he deals with it. The crowd responded well as they laughed almost constantly at him and his jokes.

His act consisted of jokes and hand gestures to keep the crowd laughing. For the main part of the act, he had the crowd ask questions that he would respond to with jokes and laughs. He kept the crowd engaged, and they enjoyed him.

Madeline Pearson, a freshman majoring in computer science, described the performance as “very, very funny.” Other comments included “hilarious” and “awesome.”

When he was 17, Comroe started doing comedy during lunch periods once a month in high school and has not stopped since. His high school was supportive of him; about 100 of his peers and some of the faculty came out to support him.

Comroe described the performance as “Great, and I had a lot of fun. I thought the students were really open-minded and fun and accepting. It was everything I could ask for.” He loves everything about comedy. “I’m very passionate, and I just enjoy going on stage and performing and meeting new people,” said Comroe. He has traveled all around the U.S., and has a few more stops in Wisconsin after his performance at Lakeland College.

Even though the weather was dreadful, people still gathered to watch Michael Palascak perform on Feb. 27. He started the night by conversing with the crowd and getting them warmed up. He kept the crowd laughing with jokes about his life. The crowd may have been small, but the laughs were plentiful.

Rachael Siehs, junior history major, described Palascak as “funny and everything was fair game [for his act].”

Ed Ley, junior specialized administration major, thought the performance was “orginal” and was surprised that Palascak braved the snow.

Palascak, who drove through treacherous weather to perform at the Lakeland event, thought the performance went well. “I like being able to make people laugh for my job, but also being able to write and create my own stuff,” Palascak said.

Palascak started doing comedy in 2002 between his sophomore and junior year of college. He also loved having the opportunity to perform on the Jay Leno show, mostly because he was able to meet the other guests. He also did a half hour special on comedy central last year, which was the “best” because “that was the longest he has been on TV and they only picked 12 people to do the special.”