Today: Apr 21, 2024

Up-and-coming comedians grace the Lyman Center stage

RYAN FLYNNGeneral Assignment Reporter

Having had enough of the heckling from the students at Southern Connecticut State University, comedian T.J. Miller kicked over his microphone stand, knocked over the stool beside him and dumped the contents of his water bottle onto his own head.

The room around him exploded with laughter, as it had throughout the night.

Miller, a George Washington University graduate, has starred in such films as “She’s Out of My League,” “Cloverfield” and “Get Him to the Greek.” He and fellow comedian Nick Vatterott performed in front of packed Lyman Center crowd this past Wednesday in Southern’s “Laugh Out Loud Comedy Night.”

“You do what you’re both best at,” Miller said, of being a stand-up comedian, “and what you also believe in and think is important work to do. And we both think that making stupid faces and noises, you know, is pretty important work.”

Vatterott opened for Miller, who he joked that he’s been working with for “about 40 years now.” His crowd-pleasing routine included a bit about a long text conversation he had with someone who had the wrong number and another regarding making funny accents when ordering food.

Prior to the show, Vatterott spoke about performing at college venues.

“Originally I was like, ‘man! Colleges are awesome!’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, they’re not all awesome.’ You know, they vary just like people vary. Some alternative shows are good and bad, some clubs are good and bad, some colleges are good and bad.”

Miller eventually took Vatterott’s place in front of the microphone, and began his set by immediately poking fun at the university’s name and logo.

As the show continued, a few of his bits were derailed by audience members who yelled out things at him.

However, in true improv form, Miller stopped his routine and spoke back to the would-be hecklers.

He then constructed jokes on the fly that pertained to them specifically, many of which were likely highlights of the night based on how the crowd reacted.

“I like how he recovered from all the stupid stuff that was going on around him and was still was able to pull it out and make it funny, even though everyone was pissing him off,” Southern student Jennifer Saksa said.

Miller told jokes about taking goofy pictures at the DMV and also about his one time getting arrested.

He also did an array of impressions, including a man who tells deep secrets when he belches, a man who can’t come to grips with the fact that his wife is a zombie and a girl who has an orgasm whenever she finishes tying a scrunchie.

Though his prepared material roused plenty of laughter from the crowd, Miller often got off track because of a few disruptive students. It eventually became too much for the comedian, who to the surprise of all knocked over everything on stage and doused himself with water, eliciting the biggest crowd reaction of the night. He ended his set about 15 minutes later, to a round of applause.

Miller will have upcoming roles in feature film “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” and also in a stop-motion R-rated movie called “Hell & Back,” with Nick Swardsen. He also plans to do more work with Vatterott.

“We’re doing a really groundbreakingly terrible TV show for Comedy Central called ‘Mash-Up,’ ” Miller said, “which [Swardon] is the head writer and I’m gonna be hosting.”

Despite the routine likely not going how Miller planned, the comedian returned to the lobby to sign autographs and take pictures following the show.

“I’m a regular guy just like everybody else,” Miller, who also starred in the film “Yogi Bear,” said. “I’m just better in talking-bear comedies than you are.”

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