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Stand up at UConn: Jay Leno


       If you were lucky enough, this past Saturday night was a reward from the pain of an exam filled week. And no, it wasn’t your weekly date with Homer. Because for this family weekend, not only did your parents treat you to a month’s worth of groceries, you also got to see a legend perform. And not only perform, but entertain, and interact the entire night. That’s right, collegiates. Jay Leno was on campus and he was on point. Before the show even began, Jay agreed to try out driving a car built by our very own engineers. You can watch the pretty cool video right here

       The show began to a 30 minute or so performance by the Shaboo All-Stars, a rocking blues group from  the Mohegan Sun. Warming up the crowd through ballads that everyone could appreciate, whether or not you actually knew the original song, is a difficult skill. Thankfully for the audience, these All-Stars knew exactly what they were doing. From crazy solo spotlights on the guitarist to soulful chords on the bass to a hard-hitting, heart-pounding beat, I was enthralled. I would say that my only criticism was some of the specific song choices. I think the overall mood of the audience was much more light-hearted than the blues scene is traditionally. And I’m not sure everyone was thrilled about listening to a song entitled “Tobacco Road” in which the narrator’s a poor orphan struggling along life. Not exactly in line with most people’s ideas of stand up comedy. So after a great, and interesting, thirty minutes, the crowd was definitely ready for some laughter.

      Cue Jay. From the minute he stepped off that stage to the moment he took his final bow, Jay kept the jokes coming. My friends and I were so impressed at the skill and timing of every delivery. He ranged in topics from politics to America’s obesity to his family, and everything in between. His flow was never interrupted, and considering the length of 90 minutes, admirable. By the end of the show, my throat was so parched from simply laughing. I didn’t talk at all, and yet I probably would’ve killed for a water bottle. However, Leno had a water bottle next to him the entire show, and not once did I see him take a sip. Honestly, I think he was too busy having fun and doing what he loves, and I know I certainly wasn’t complaining.

      His show was a hilarious experience which I hope everyone will get to experience one day. There truly is an art to stand-up comedy, and I know that with every great comedian, this remains true. I would give this entire night an 8/10. Why isn’t it a 10/10? Because I don’t think the depressing tone of the blues matched the rest of the night, or the audience’s expectations for an opening act. I believe either another comedian or an upbeat rock/classic rock group would have been more appropriate. Jay Leno himself? He earned a rocking 10/10.  


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