The Internet world uses his infamous memes and sound bites on the reg. You’ve seen his raucous personality online in recorded comedy stand-ups and films like About Last Night and Ride Along. But on Saturday, November 1st, thousands of UMD students were able to catch a glimpse of unusually short actor and comedian Kevin Hart for a live stand-up comedy show in Cole Field House presented by Maryland’s Student Entertainment Events (SEE).
As news of Kevin Hart’s show spread through campus, SEE’s marketing squad furiously advertised the show by chalking on campus sidewalks, hanging fliers, and posting information on Facebook, the lifeblood of college.
Tickets went on sale at midnight on Tuesday, October 14, and by 11:30pm on Monday night, the website was already slowing from the stampede of online users. After requesting a ticket, frantic fans were put in a ‘virtual waiting room’ as the site processed the request. Some students were left there for hours on end, forcing them to go to sleep Monday night and discover their verdict on Tuesday morning. Tickets ended up selling out around 9am on Tuesday morning.
On Saturday night, ticketed students began lining up at 5:30, and by 6pm, the line extended past Cole Field House, down Union Lane and all the way past the baseball field. Freezing students anxiously waited for what they hoped would be a hilarious show.
Countless Yik Yaks about the show began pouring in and the atmosphere inside Cole was full of anticipation. Sophomore studio art major Ana-Alicia Feng said she did not know what to expect from the show. “I didn’t know what it would be like,” Feng said. “I didn’t know if it would be old material or new material.”
Feng’s ponderings were answered when SEE Comedy Director Ben Stryker took the stage to remind the audience to turn off their phones or risk expulsion from the building. Stryker said Kevin Hart requested this because of the brand new comedy material the audience would be seeing on Saturday, which would also be used for his next filmed standup.
After two opening acts, Kevin Hart finally took the stage and the crowd went wild. As per usual, Hart immediately had to lower the microphone to accommodate his 5”4 self, and then the night truly began.
Sophomore computer science major Ben Jones admitted he was concerned Hart would not be as funny live as he was in his online standups, but these doubts were soon put to rest. “I expected a little short man to come on the stage and make me laugh for an hour and I was not disappointed because both of those things came true,” Jones said. “Almost the entire time he was talking, I was laughing.”
Many students said the best part about Kevin Hart’s comedic style is the way his shows always come full-circle. He often tells a story in the beginning with a memorable quote or punch line, and then references back to that at the end of the show.
Sophomore intended neurobiology and physiology major Aaron Kim had a similar take on Hart’s style. “I liked how he talks about certain events and how he is able to connect them all together.”
Senior journalism major Brianna Hurwitz agreed: “It’s crazy how he remembers everything.”
Jones had a different idea about Hart’s best talent. “It’s the way he inflects his voice while making faces and also imitating people,” Jones explained. “We all know someone who is like that and when he imitated them it just makes it funnier because you can directly relate to that.”
To end the show, Hart had the entire audience stand up to be included in a selfie with the comedian himself.
From the sold out tickets to the laughter radiating from Cole Field House, SEE Presents Kevin Hart proved to be a huge success and a hilarious addition to UMD’s Halloweekend 2014.