By Bradley Fargo, news correspondent
In the midst of a snowstorm, Northeastern University (NU) students continued to celebrate Springfest on Tuesday night by flocking to a sold-out Blackman Auditorium to watch voice actors H. Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman perform a stand-up comedy show.
With famous comedians set to perform at NU, free student tickets and a limited supply of free shirts and fanny packs, 1,000 people filled Blackman. The show was organized by the Council for University Programs (CUP).
“I chose H. Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman because ‘Bob’s Burgers’ and ‘Archer’[…] are really relevant and funny shows, and I thought the student body would respond well,” Jamie Canyock, the showcases chair on the CUP executive board, said. “We are students representing students.”
Benjamin and Mirman have worked together on animated comedy shows and have released comedy albums. Benjamin was born in Worcester, Mass. but now lives in New York City with his 9-year-old son Judah. Mirman is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.
Mirman, a self-described “master of very low-key physical comedy,” took the stage first. While his first joke was to knock two unopened water bottles off his stool, he repeated the action several times throughout the night.
“I can tell already that you are pleasant and not drunk out of your minds, and that is a real treat,” Mirman said to the crowd.
Mirman’s act included musings on being a married Jew on dating site ChristianMingle, readings of laminated signs he sometimes posts in bathrooms, a promotional video for his recent comedy album and a few pre-recorded clips of his hypothetical television show that he isn’t going to have.
“I came for [H.] Jon Benjamin, but I really thought Eugene shined,” Adam Bechtold, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said. “I don’t want to be mean to Jon or anything, but he usually plays a pretty bland character.”
Benjamin mimed playing an imaginary piano before jumping into his stand-up. This was a homage to his most recent comedic work, in which Benjamin sat down with professional jazz musicians and recorded an album as their piano player. In reality, Benjamin does not play piano.
The theme of Benjamin’s act was his son Judah. He showed a slideshow of falsified pictures from his son allegedly ecstasy-fueled ninth birthday and closed the show with a public reading of his son’s text conversations with a pre-pubescent friend.
“If I met God, I imagine that’s what his voice would sound like,” Ryan Howe, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said.
The show also included Benjamin’s Holocaust memoir, complete with dramatic background music, in which he spoiled the ending to the 2003 movie “Biker Boyz” and the television series “St. Elsewhere.”
“I didn’t do well in college, then I went to grad school to study the Holocaust,” Benjamin said. “I dropped out. It turns out I hate the Holocaust.”
Both comedians addressed the crowd during the show, asking what problems and concerns they had. Both times audience members yelled out “fossil fuels.”
“Have you tried emailing or sending sexts [to the administration]?” Mirman said. “I bet you’d divest pretty fast.”
Benjamin said he brought gifts, pulling a trash bag onstage and throwing the contents to the audience, which included socks “from New York” as well as a sex toy meant to be strapped on to the chin.
“It was called the ‘Accommodator,’” Ariel Vonk, a senior environmental science major, said. “The best part was the chin dildo.”
Andrew Gabros, a sophomore neuroscience major, was excited to finally see the comedian whose voice was so familiar.
“I’ve been hearing the voice for so long – to actually see [Benjamin] in person [is] a dope feeling,” he said. “I feel the most fulfilled that I have in a long time.”
Photo courtesy Seth Olenick