I was just as excited as everyone else when I saw the posters CAB plastered around the dorms and the campus forewarning us of a “comedian of epic proportions” performing in the Granite State Room. The phrase “epic proportions,” to me, means just that. Epic is a big word to throw around and should not be used loosely. For example, the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is epic. The album Colors by Between the Buried and Me is epic, even though me and five other people are the only ones who think so. Three dollar pitchers during a Red Sox-Yankee game? That’s dripping with epicsauce.
The term epic (and epicsauce….especially epicsauce) can most certainly be applied to comedians, as well, so when I saw the posters I became very excited. Seeing as CAB has brought Patton Oswalt, one of my all-time favorite comedians, to the Granite State Room just two years prior, I was expecting something big. I was anxious to find out who it was since CAB must realize that Patton Oswalt is a comedian of epic proportions so whomever it is they are bragging about getting must be comparable to him, right? When we came back from Spring Break a whole bunch of new flyers were adorning our campus walls, and I was immediately disappointed.
Hey! I know that finger! It was on a flyer last year! The epic comedian is Bob Marley? They are trying to say that a comedian that mainly tours around New England telling jokes about New England, best known for constantly getting Dunkin’ Donuts coffee for Willem Dafoe in the most overrated movie ever, and THAT WAS HERE LAST YEAR is a comedian of epic proportions? Did the definition of the word “epic” change over break? Next time, why don’t we go with “regional proportions” on the flyer? Sure, it’s cool that’s he’s free, but have you seen his act? It is also free to go outside and listen to people talk with a New England accent.
Bob Marley has his moments, but I am not from Maine, and a good deal of his material is about Vacation Land. My mother is from Maine, I have friends who are from Maine and I understand the accent specific to Northern Maine and how cool Portland is and all that jazz, but some of his material is lost on me. Also, I don’t think I have ever seen him without a leather jacket on, which is the least epic fashion choice for a full grown adult male to make. He is a hit-or-miss comedian with a name that confuses pretty much every white Rastafarian (pothead) on this campus. (I told a friend from back home who graduated recently that Bob Marley was coming to UNH and his response was “is he going to be in a glass casket?”)
A lot of discussion has been taking place concerning the acts that the groups responsible for bringing entertainment to UNH. The Sam Adams fiasco (which, I find confusing because making rap songs on Garage Band is what people do as a joke, not as a music career, but I would have loved to have seen Barstool Palooza) has called into question (unfairly) SCOPE’s clout and the organization as a whole. SCOPE’s brining of MGMT to the Field House has also drawn some ire since it is a smaller venue and they most certainly could have filled the Whitt. The Whitt is undergoing renovations for the remainder of this year, and as an unfortunate and unintended consequence of that, people became excluded since the show sold out very quickly. SCOPE will most likely try to bring another big act this year to appease all of us, whereas CAB probably will not. I think more attention should be spent on this comedy show.
Bob Marley was here last year, so the variety being offered here leaves something to be desired. Even if the show is free, I really don’t want to see the same person again. Comedians that are deemed “epic” by the general consensus of comedy fans are likely more expensive than we realize, like a Daniel Tosh or a Jim Gaffigan, so Bob Marley was likely a budgetary move. Not an epic budgetary move, however, so the claims that CAB made surrounding who they were bringing were erroneous. And a word to the wise: if you’re going to call the comedian you are bringing a “secret comedian,” don’t use the same picture used to advertise him with last year and put a black square over his face. That just reeks of lazy and lacks creativity.
Any entertainment organization owes it to themselves and the students that their organization knows what is going on in the music and in the comedy world. Since CAB mostly deals only with comedy, they ought to know who some of the big up and coming comedians are. Aziz Ansari and Eugene Mirman would have been wise choices since both of them are rising stars with original material and styles that always seem to go over well with audiences, and they could have been had fairly cheap. Longtime stand up star Louis CK would have been an excellent choice as well, and he is not expensive to book either. Mike Birbiglia and Michael Ian Black may have been more expensive, but they would have sold out any room that they were booked in, probably even the Field House. Bob Marley isn’t on a level that is epic or even approaching epic. He’s average, and not a new face, and I’m staying home.