SRC comedy night draws laughs and a crowd

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On Friday night the Students Representative Council (SRC) presented St. Patty’s Comedy Night at Howlers.

Ethan Gaunce, a first year arts student at UNB Saint John, took up the mantle as master of ceremonies for the occasion, with Mark Splude and Shane Ogden providing the comedic stylings for the evening.

Around 30 students attended the event coordinated by Jenna Evans, the vice president social, of the SRC.

“It was a great turnout, we were worried about the comedy night since we had not had one (this year),” says Evans, who used fliers, Facebook posts, and even school’s electronic billboard to promote the event.

The night opened with Gaunce using his past experience in high school and current university experience to warm up the room.

“It was a little rough around the edges since it was my first time,” says Gaunce who seemed to be reaching to keep the flow going at times.

However with impressive delivery and articulation overall his debut performance was good and he will no doubt improve as he continues to do stand-up.

“Comedy has a dirty side, we push boundaries but it is to entertain.”

The first act featured Mark Splude, a local comedian who hosts a weekly comedy podcast, The Spludecast, and also delivers a comedy bit titled Got a Minute? every Thursday on Rock 88.9 F.M.

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Mark Splude (Left) and Shane Ogden (Right)

“I always wanted to do comedy, having seen Eddie Murphy do Delirious in the early eighties. I started thinking this is really something I want to do,” says Splude, explaining that the rise of podcasting gave him the “kick in the ass” he needed to get started.

Splude was conversational and energetic trying to make a connection with the crowd by presenting questions, and throwing jeers at the spectators.
His arsenal of jokes came mostly at his own expense, picking at his height and look.

At times Splude was a little intense in his delivery, catching some of the audience off-guard, however he balanced it out with lighter smacks.
Ogden, the headliner for the night, followed Splude and with over 17 years of stand-up experience did not disappoint the crowd.

Ogden says his interest in comedy started at Saint John Vocational High School, now Harbour View High School, when he had an acting role in a production, delivered a funny line, and heard the audience’s reaction.

He continued to take on more speaking roles and began thinking of it as an option, which eventually led to him and his wife opening the comedy bar, Chuckles, in Saint John.

When asked about how he feels about raising sensitive topics Ogden explained.
“Comedy has a dirty side, we push boundaries but it is to entertain.”

He acknowledges that some jokes will piss people off and, despite not always personally sharing the point of view of the jokes, he feels comedians cannot always do safe jokes, which is why he tries to sell his personality.

“Even if I say something you do not agree with if you like me, hopefully you will forgive me.”

Those words rang true as the general consensus from the audience at the show was positive.

A few audience members did not appreciate some of the topics brought up, others just had a grand time, and there were those on the middle ground who thought that some of the topics were a little risqué but, as a comedy show, expected.

The SRC’s Evans says she enjoyed the event and, even though some of the more questionable jokes worried her, she felt the whole event was in good taste.

This event wraps up the SRC’s regular events calendar with only the last class bash remaining on April 1.

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