“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the good burger, can I take your order?!”
If you know that reference, you probably know Kenan Thompson, star of many of the ’90s kid’s TV shows and “Saturday Night Live.” He was the comedy act for the first ever “LOL @ UIC” last Thursday.
The event, hosted by Campus Programs, was free and heavily advertised. Through Twitter, I was able to win VIP passes to the show. I brought my friend to the show and snagged some great third-row seats.
As Kenan is pretty famous for being hilarious on television and making many laugh, I had high expectations for the show. However, I felt like he wasn’t quite able to meet them.
The show was about an hour long. For the first 30 minutes, Kenan talked to about his life to a large audience full of students at the UIC Forum. He seemed to be a bit bored and tired, often complaining about the crappy weather outside. While rambling on about the TV shows and movies he starred in and the crazy days he has had as a celebrity, he often inserted some hilarious jokes. He even called a few audience members out for leaving the room to use the bathroom or coming in to the show late.
However, I had thought stand-up comedy was when a comedian would ramble on about crazy adventures or cite stories that would keep the audience gasping for air. Kenan seemed to just ramble without having any zest. He even stated that he was not particularly good at stand up when he auditioned for SNL. It then hit me that he is more of a film actor than a stand-up comic.
For the last 30 minutes, Kenan did a Q&A with the students. Some of the questions that were asked, however, were just a waste of time. Many asked for personal favors, like how to get themselves on television, to sing an autograph or to make a special shout out on SNL for them. Kenan didn’t seem to be very happy about this. Even when there were good questions, he kind of just brushed them off…unwillingly to fully answer them. He usually responded with “Uh… I don’t know…hmmm.” He didn’t even want to reenact some of his most famous characters from his long career.
After an hour, Kenan ended the show and went backstage for a meet and greet with VIP pass holders. Luckily, I was one of those people. Despite my disappointment with his routine, I was still excited to meet one of the people who consistently entertained me as a child. Even though he might not be the best stand-up comic, he is still a great sketch and film actor.
Backstage, Kenan still seemed disinterested. I guess I just expected him to be bubbly and outgoing, like the hilarious characters he portrayed. He could just be one of those people that are more shy off stage than on. He was still content with signing autographs and taking pictures with his fans. I even was able to express my appreciation for one of his SNL acts with Madonna and Lady GaGa. I was appreciative for his time.
Despite my disappointment with Kenan’s act, the “LOL @ UIC” event itself was a fantastic idea. I think that it was a decent first try for this new tradition. I’m positive that next year it’ll be even better and will get better throughout the years. It was truly refreshing to see all the students that showed up for a good time. It made UIC seem more like a community, which is something that is always good for school spirit.
Did you attend the show? What were your thoughts?