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Gallery: Association for Campus Entertainment hosts annual Last Seahawk Standing student comedy competition

Helen Rogalski, Managing Editor

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On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) hosted their annual Last Seahawk Standing comedy competition among UNCW students. Roughly 100 students, faculty and community members gathered in Burney Center on campus. The event was hosted by two-time Last Seahawk Standing winner and local comedian Lucy O’Brien.

The event featured nine student comedians performing competing individually or as part of a duo in five-minute sets emceed and introduced by O’Brien. Emma D’Anjolell, ACE’s Spirit Chair and event volunteer was pleased with the performances and turnout and appreciated the “enthusiastic crowd interaction” of the evening.

Following each set, judges would provide feedback individually. Feedback ranged from neutral to positive with light criticism focused on timing and punchlines. The panel of judges included the Executive Director of Campus Life Larry Wray, Assistant Director of Student Media Bill DiNome and local comedian Tyler Wood. Prizes ranged from 100 to 50 dollars. Topics ranged from class difficulties, personal relationships and college life in general.

CJ Montague was the first to perform and focused his set on Thanksgiving with his family, religion and sexuality through a combination of spoken word and song. Montague is also involved in ACE, Quidditch, co-ed a cappella group the Seahawkappellas and The Seahawk here on campus. Montague’s set included the most swearing of the evening and was met with a generally warm response from the audience and judges.

Up next was Madison Lorello, a senior and Films Chair for ACE.

“How’d I make it this far? Who knows?” she stated. Her set included lingerie shopping stories for ACE’s annual Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcast, arguments with her long-distance boyfriend of 6 years and future plans. Despite it being one of her first stand-up performances, Lorello gained respect and praise from the judges, as well as feedback for delivering punch lines effectively.

Amanda Duncan was met with the warmest crowd reaction so far as the third performer. She brought her guitar on stage and handled difficulties setting up with grace and humor. Her set was performed in the form of a song focused on her aspirations to date a 92-year-old with a good credit score to help offset her professional expectations from her sociology degree.

“He may be gross and ugly, but at least he’ll have some money,” she said.

Judge Bill DiNome described Duncan’s performance as having “an ironic tension between what you’re saying and how you sound.”

The evening’s next performer was Caleb Corron, a marine biologist who participated in the competition because of a bet he made with Lorello. His set focused on sexuality, genitalia and his experience at UNCW.

He described being a bisexual man in the South as “Bi now gay later,” and earned praise from Judge Wood on his use of puns.

J.D. Roberson and Ryan Wentz performed as the only duo of the evening while singing about sharing an ex-girlfriend. Roberson marched on stage with a water-bottle of sorts stuffed in his pants which earned extensive applause and some audience interaction.

The duo performed a musical number centered on their love for their ex-girlfriend’s dad. Wentz played the guitar throughout the set, Roberson had a brief slide-whistle solo and both sang. Their dad-focused song included post-breakup withdrawals, memories of quality time, not-so-subtle slut-shaming and even a passionate kiss between the two performers.

The vocal ranges, instrumental tune and humorous lyrics of their set offered an on-campus version of popular New-Zealand based duo Flight of the Conchords that earned high praise and Bo Burnham comparisons from the panel of judges.

The end of their set earned extensive applause and laughter with the concluding, unified statement “I’m gonna f*ck your dad,” from Wentz and Roberson.

“Put that thing away, it’s distracting,” Larry Wray stated in regards to the sight of Roberson’s bulge. Roberson’s parents were among the audience members.

DiNome described the musical set as “well delivered and punchy.”

Seahawk Link and Teal TV member Kelsey Singer was the next to perform.

“I got bangs recently, so that tells you where my mental state is at the moment,” stated Singer, who later described her new haircut as a “pulp fiction-looking-ass bob.”

Singer touched on body image, crushes and therapy while drawing connections between her life and the hit classic Grease.

She described her crush as a boy who “liked IPAs and wore beanies in 90-degree weather,” but reported that she never got her Grease-like carnival ending. “We never got to shimmy on each other like that,” a statement that gained applause from the audience and panel of judges.

“You had a story to tell,” responded DiNome, which “sounded genuine with lots of laughs along the way.”

“You were bringing this character to us…I thought your presence was awesome,” stated Larry Wray.

Local comedian Tyler Wood encouraged Singer to keep up her comedic performances because the “NC comedy scene lacking” in female representation.

“You’re very self-aware and that’s important when doing comedy,” concluded Wood.

The final comic of the night was film student Patrick Tank whose self-deprecation and honesty was met with extensive applause.

“‘I’m living the dream’ almost exclusively means ‘I’m dying inside,'” he stated.

Of his time at UNCW, Tank concluded that “I’m really glad I’m here at UNCW so I can be miserable at the beach.”

Tank’s set caused Larry Wray to laugh so hard he had tears in his eyes and earned overwhelmingly positive feedback from the judges who praised his confidence, timing and set.

As judges tallied their scoring, MC Lucy O’Brien embarked on a brief set about failing classes, the publicity surrounding “furries” as a kink and stories of peeing herself while abroad.

Patrick Tank was named the evening’s “Committee Favorite,” Kelsey Singer placed second and singing duo J.D. Roberson and Ryan Wentz earned first place.

“We drew inspiration from a lot of different comics, but we first met and bonded over knowing Flight of the Conchords, so they were definitely part of our inspiration for this set” stated Roberson.

“We’re trying to steal their bit,” Wentz chimed in, joking.

Roberson and Wentz plan on splitting the prize money 50/50 and taking their act to Dead Crow Comedy Room in Downtown Wilmington.

ACE Activities Chair and director of the event Holly Pearce described the event as an overall success, stating “The audience really enjoyed themselves and the contestants had great sets.”

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Gallery: Association for Campus Entertainment hosts annual Last Seahawk Standing student comedy competition