Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 3, 2020 | °F in Baltimore

Hopkins Stand-Up Club performs Leap Year Show

By DYLAN KWANG | March 5, 2020

b3-comedy-show
COURTESY OF DYLAN KWANG Hopkins Stand-up Comedy Club secretary and chief strategist Harry Kuperstein starred in the quadrennial Leap Year show.

The Hopkins Stand-Up Comedy Club held its special Leap Year Show at Arellano Theater for its first performance this year. With a strong lineup of six aspiring comics, the show delivered some much-needed laughs during midterm season. 

The President of the club, junior Amani Nelson, opened the show with a relevant dialogue about the deadly coronavirus, incorporating a joke about the recent Oscar-winning film Parasite

“It seems diseases have been on the news a lot lately. First the coronavirus and recently even Parasite has been in the headlines!” she joked. “I just heard on the news that a dog has recently been diagnosed with coronavirus. Maybe white people will find a cure now.” 

She also poked fun at people who used terms that were “redundant.”

“I hate when people say terms such as ATM machine. It’s redundant. It’s like a hockey player stating his dad is homophobic.” 

Next on the lineup was club Secretary and Chief Strategist Harry Kuperstein, a junior, who opened with a bold statement. 

“Has anyone ever noticed that baseball players are built like Roblox characters?” he said. 

Kuperstein’s set featured a variety of topics, covering everything from TSA security (“Anyone else have TSA Pre-Check? So you guys also think you’re better than everyone else?”) and A Place to Talk (“I want to open a room next to A Place to Talk and cut a hole in the wall. A Place to Eavesdrop”). His jokes left the room in stitches. Kuperstein even touched on Venn diagrams.

“I really want to meet whoever Venn is, you know, from the Venn diagram. This guy was probably the most agreeable [dude] of all time.”

Senior Nick Scandura came next. His caricature of two gay men on the dating app Bumble brought the room to tears from laughing. Scandura gestured nonverbally, as if he had something important to say but was unable to. He apologized for seeming lethargic during his set, as he had just gotten off a plane. 

“I was on a flight when the pilot spoke on the intercom: ‘We’re about to land so we’re going to turn off the overhead lights. There may be some turbulence, which is absolutely normal.’ A couple minutes later, the pilot again speaks, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we all call our loved ones right now?’” Scandura recounted. 

“I once dated a girl with situs inversus. It didn’t work out unfortunately. Her heart wasn’t in the right place.” As the audience audibly groaned, he chuckled, “Don’t worry guys. It only gets worse from here.”

Just as a note, situs inversus is a congenital condition in which organs of the body are switched in position. 

Next up was junior Ariella Shua, whose love of The Bachelor was evident. She compared the hit show to a fiery car crash where, “you know nothing good will come out of it, but you also can’t look away. Also, everything is kinda hot.” 

Shua also lamented about the difficulty of applying to internships, comparing it to getting turned down at a bar. 

“In the politest, firmest of no’s possible,” she said. 

She also debuted her new shirt, covered in printed media and newspaper headlines, joking it accentuates her Jewish identity. You kind of had to be there to see it.

Junior Ben Schneider spoke about how he wished stand-up comedy had a boy band vibe, complete with choreography. He then proceeded to deliver all his punchlines with a flair, twirling on the mic-stand as he delivered punch-lines. 

“Why is a hatter someone who wears hats, but a suitor someone who wants to have sex with my girlfriend?” he said.

Indeed, Schneider looked like the perfect mix of the Backstreet Boys and John Mulaney. He signed off by likening his set to a certain male organ calling it, “long and satisfying.”

Junior Alex Hecksher-Gomes finished the night with a performance highlighting the similarities between crying and laughing. For one of his jokes, he noted the similarity between these two seemingly opposite displays of emotion.

“Isn’t it strange how crying and laughing both sound the same even though they are polar opposites?” he said. 

He then gave a slightly uncomfortable, yet hilarious impersonation of his roommate after a traumatic experience, alternating between what seemed like laughing and crying without ever fully doing either. 

“My dog died… and my dad ran over it with his car… and then tried to bury it,” Hecksher-Gomes said, tearfully, or perhaps, comically.

Was he crying or laughing? The world may never know. Hecksher-Gomes then finished off his set with a relatable situation. 

“You know how sometimes you’re like ‘Where’s my phone?’ but you were holding it the entire time? I do the same thing with my foreskin. I wake up and think, ‘Where’s my foreskin? Oh right, some doctor has it.’ At least I assume they keep it. You know, just in case. Little rainy-day foreskin.”

No dogs or foreskins were harmed in the making of this show. The next performance is March 28.

Editor’s Note: Ariella Shua is the Opinions Editor of The News-Letter. She was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.

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