Brooks Wheelan took the stage for an unorthodox standup show in Draddy gymnasium, and had a lot of room to joke with MC students. Not only did the empty space of the gym allow Wheelan to move around to accompany his jokes, the college audience gave him a chance to try new material.
After the cancelation of the fireworks show Student Activities quickly replaced the Saturday night activity with a one-hour performance by Saturday Night Live comedian Brooks Wheelan. The stand-up performance was well received by the student body, and they packed the bleachers of Draddy to catch the show.
Wheelan was a stand up comedian before being hired at SNL, studying comedy at UCB and performing standup shows across the country. With his hiring at SNL Wheelan has gotten to experience new outlets for his comedy.
“SNL is great, I was a stand up comedian before I got hired there so during the SNL weeks I’m a sketch comedian, which is a completely different muscle, and then on our off weeks I go and do standup, so its getting to do all different types of comedy that is the coolest thing in the world,” Wheelan said.
The show was a mix of Wheelan’s standup as well as him reading his sketch ideas for SNL and the impressions he auditioned with for the show. Students laughed throughout and were very responsive to the comedy show. Wheelan engaged students and talked about the school, the basketball team and the gym. His improvisational comedy as the night went on received some of the biggest laughs from the crowd.
“It was definitely a great way to spend Saturday night. He was so funny and engaged with the audience. I think that a comedy show was the perfect alternative to the fireworks especially because of the rain, he didn’t disappoint,” Jessica Risolo said.
Wheelan was excited to have the chance to perform at Manhattan College. “It’s a lot more free to do a college than to do television, which is the coolest. Like we are hanging out as opposed to you are watching a movie,” he said.
“For me, performing at a college for you guys its just fun, it’s really fun. There’s not a lot of pressure which is where I feel like I perform the best. It’s where I’ll try weirder things and if it doesn’t work, I don’t care.”
Director of Student Activities, John Bennett told the Quadrangle in an article on April 22, that the comedy show was expected to be successful. “The firework show was a very cool idea, but the comedian show will probably end up having more people at it.” Wheelan had students laughing throughout the night and the comedy show was indeed a welcome addition to the Jasper Days schedule.