By Andi Hubbell
Last night’s comedy show in Hoff Theater, featuring CollegeHumor comedians Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld, epitomized the raunchy brand of humor that young adults find irresistible.
The five comedians in the SEE-hosted event’s lineup reenacted outrageous scenarios and recited obscene jokes in the interest of upholding the show’s theme — college humor. While the event’s hosts, Hurwitz and Blumenfeld, offered an altogether crude, tasteless performance, three additional performers crafted well-executed, relevant routines, proving that raunchiness and intelligence can comfortably coexist.
The show’s opening act, senior Mason Trappio, enraptured the audience by incorporating UMD-specific jokes into his seamless routine. Trappio repeatedly referred to UMD’s rivalry with Duke, sparking laughter and applause each time he muttered “F*** Duke.”
Trappio also recanted his frustrating experiences as a biology major and shared his comical observations of the courtship process on campus.
“I’m gonna put on my collared shirt with stripes, plaid shorts and f***ing boat shoes and get some girls,” he said, scoffing at guys trying to pick up girls on campus.
After Trappio concluded his 25-minute routine, Hurwitz and Blumenfeld took the stage, posing a contrast to Trappio’s subtle, understated stage presence. The pair quickly demonstrated that the on-screen chemistry they maintain in their CollegeHumor sketch videos does not transfer to the stage.
The comedians attempted to recreate the schtick from their Jake and Amir videos, in which the eccentric Blumenfeld is an annoying burden for Hurwitz to contend with. While Blumenfeld exhibited a mildly natural stage presence, with self-deprecating, Hurwitz appeared rigid and uncomfortable onstage. He responded to Blumenfeld’s over-the-top, typically vulgar jokes with mechanical, unoriginal retorts or bland anecdotes about Blumenfeld’s irritating tendencies. The twosome bantered about diarrhea, penis size and Blumenfeld’s “F***-it List” (as opposed to bucket list) and eventually entered a rap battle in which Blumenfeld delivered his sole noteworthy performance of the night.
After several minutes, the hosts introduced comedian Michael Blaustein. Although Blaustein’s performance initially appeared to be a mere extension of Hurwitz and Blumenfeld’s vulgar antics as he discussed the trials of being adorable and having to worry about “getting raped by a gay man,” Blaustein ultimately proved to possess a distinctive, powerful stage presence.
With his booming voice and expert use of physical humor, Blaustein got the audience engaged in his outrageous stories about dating and sex, describing his dull-but-attractive ex-girlfriend and his emotional reaction to music during sex.
“[It’s like] our souls are connected … they’re dancing in a bed of chocolate raisins,” he said blissfully as he feigned having sex.
Following a brief and unremarkable exchange between Hurwitz and Blumenfeld, Streeter Seidell, another CollegeHumor comedian, performed. Seidell employed the same strategy as Trappio to capture the audience’s attention, reflecting on his experiences as a fat kid in college and the magic of sex.
“I gained the freshman 15 every f***ing year,” he said.
Seidell continued to poke fun at his own former weight issues, prompting laughter as he discussed his previous unwillingness to be on top during sex. Although Seidell’s performance was not quite as notable as Trappio and Blaustein’s, his routine was nonetheless far more original than that of Hurwitz and Blumenfeld.
In spite of Hurwitz and Blumenfeld’s failure to produce a distinctive, tasteful routine, fans of the pair’s Jake and Amir videos enjoyed their performance.
“I am a huge Jake and Amir fan,” said freshman Megan O’lone. “I didn’t find out about [the show] until a couple of days ago and I just thought it was awesome that it was free and here at Maryland.”
Freshman Lorena Kowalewski, who doesn’t watch Hurwitz and Blaustein’s Jake and Amir videos, appreciated the entire lineup for its raunchy humor.
“They were all really good. They were all really vulgar. It’s funny,” she said. “I thought they aimed it to the crowd well.”
The show demonstrated that while college students have a common, inherent attraction to all things outrageous, they have a choice between consuming cleverly raunchy media and altogether vulgar material. Students should take heed that it’s not necessarily what you digest, but how you digest it, that determines whether you’re absorbing art or garbage.