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Comedians head to workshop with Lewis Black

Senior Danny Nowell was one of nine winners chosen in the Student Stand Up Competition. DTH/Melissa Abbey
Senior Danny Nowell was one of nine winners chosen in the Student Stand Up Competition. DTH/Melissa Abbey

Laughter rocked the walls of the Student Union Cabaret on Tuesday night as 22 students took three minutes at the mic to try to woo the crowd with their funniest jokes.

The contestants were competing for a chance to open at the Carolina Comedy Jam featuring stand-up comedians Lewis Black and The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac, John Oliver and host Rory Albanese.

The competition is part of the seventh annual Carolina Comedy Festival sponsored by Carolina Union Activities Board.

Some students prepared by writing scripts to memorize, while others chose to outline what they wanted to talk about and improvised on stage.

“It’s just different strokes for different folks,” participant Cody Hughes said.

No matter which method they chose to prepare, contestants said they were still nervous.

“I’m always nervous,” Vinny Tagliatela said. “But its a good audience. Once you get up there it’s like a conversation. You’re talking, and the audience is laughing.”

After the competition, the CUAB comedy committee chose nine finalists to participate in a workshop with Black, who will choose two students to open for the Comedy Jam this weekend.

The Comedy Jam will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center’s Carolina Club.

Here is a look at the finalists and some of their funniest comments:

Matt Krantz

Krantz got the audience going with stories of going to the movies with his family of six.

“My dad would dispatch three groups, the refreshmenteers, the seat savers and the smugglers,” he said.

Kenan Stewart

Stewart named a few things that he thought would be worse than being on UNC’s basketball team this year, such as a sexually frustrated Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to masturbate.

Vinny Tagliatela

Tagliatela told stories of Wii boxing with his little cousin, who beat him while jumping up and down wildly and shoving gummy worms in his mouth.

Jay Morgan

Morgan weighed his options after hearing humans are not the only species that practice prostitution.

“A prostitute on Rosemary Street is $50 or $100, but a banana only costs 49 cents,” he said.

Cody Hughes

Hughes, a junior and winner of the past two competitions, talked about an article in The Daily Tar Heel that described him as awkward and killed his sex life.

“I got cock-blocked by my school newspaper,” he said.

Scott Banks

Banks centered his routine on one-liners.

“If you want to go on a safari but can’t afford it, you can just do what I do and pour out a box of animal crackers and look at them through binoculars,” he said.

Ben Long

Long described the challenges cuttlefish face with the ladies.

“Do cuttlefish even want to be third-base fish? I mean, like, ‘Come on girl, can I at least get a fin job? Screw this. I’m going to find a blow fish. I know she’ll put out.’”

Danny Nowell

Nowell talked a New York Times article that discussed the uneven gender ratio at UNC. He joked that, as a male, he can do whatever he wants and still get laid.

“I call my girlfriend ‘Fat Sally’ because I can,” he said.

Emily Satterfield

Satterfield learned this summer that it’s OK to lie.

“A guy asked me if I liked baseball and if I would like to go to a game with him. I said, ‘I do like baseball. I also like girls.”

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