Ridiculum and CAT Host Stand-Up Comedy Show


Courtesy of Jada Thomas

Patrick Lyons performs onstage at the Riley Ellipse.

A.J. Fezza, Co-Culture Editor

During a tumultuous, socially-distanced year, everyone could use a laugh. Thankfully, Villanova University Ridiculum has provided the University’s community with a great opportunity to do so.

On Saturday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m., community members gathered at the Riley Ellipse with  their beloved portable chairs to see a stand-up comedy show run by Ridiculum in conjunction with the Campus Activities Team (CAT). 

Ridiculum is also known as the University’s “Improv Club.” The organization typically holds comedic improvisation performances in St. Mary’s Theater, at which audience members typically yell out characters that the onstage actors have to portray or actions that the actors must perform. This stand-up event was a relatively new endeavor for Ridiculum; it was the club’s first exclusively stand-up show.

The event featured five performers. The comics were, in order: Timothy Krall, Kelechi Onuigbo, Patrick Lyons, Brandon Catanzaro and Andrew Mister.

In addition to being the final performer of the night, Mister, a junior, is also the Vice President and the Head of the Stand-Up Branch of Ridiculum. In the months leading up to the show, the other four performers turned to Mister (who has the most experience with stand-up comedy) and some others in the Stand-Up Branch for help with preparation. 

At the event, each comic spoke for about 15 minutes each.

Krall, a senior, joked about his fear of the film “Sleeping Beauty” and its villain, Maleficent. He also expressed his shock and betrayal upon discovering that Aurora’s dress is blue and not pink for the vast majority of “Sleeping Beauty.” He finished by deriding the Star Wars sequel trilogy.   

Onuigbo, a sophomore, took a different approach. She began by asking the audience how they felt, before poking fun of the audience’s standard response of cheers.

“We say we’re fine when we’re not really fine,” Onuigbo remarked on stage.

A common theme of her routine was making light of this example of social etiquette. She then made sure to joke about the prevalence of the name “Caroline” on campus (a theme that would be referenced even in the show’s subsequent performances), and poked fun at Wyoming, California, New Jersey and her hometown of Baltimore. 

Jokes about the recent California wildfires elicited some shocked murmuring from the crowd. 

“Too soon?” Onuigbo asked the audience.

Meanwhile, jokes about New Jersey drew extra laughs. This was to be expected, given the Garden State’s overrepresentation in the University’s student population. 

“I had never done stand-up before but I have done some improv shows with the club,” Onuigbo said. “I felt a little nervous, but more excited, because I knew a lot of my friends were looking forward to it.”

Lyons, a sophomore, followed Onuigbo on stage. He spent his routine reminiscing about his experience working at a zoo this past summer and fibbing to some young guests. 

“Going up to the stage was a surreal feeling,” Lyons said. “It hadn’t really hit me that whole day, but then towards the end of Kelechi’s performance I realized, ‘Wow I’m really about to go up and perform stand-up.’ But once I got up there I just began to feel really confident and went for it.”

Catanzaro, a sophomore, gave an animated, semi-fictional account of his trips to Las Vegas and the doctor’s office.

Finally, Mister topped off the night with jokes about Instagram etiquette and reflections on dating and love in high school. When Mister spoke about how his nervousness manifests itself in what seems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it resulted in the biggest eruption of laughter from the audience of the night. Perhaps this is a common University phenomenon.

One thing is clear: Ridiculum’s stand-up comedy show was a night to remember.