Students compete to see who is funniest

Columbian Square looked more like a makeshift theater Wednesday night when students performed stand-up comedy at the second annual GW’s Funniest College Student Competition.

A platform stage was set up in the middle of the Marvin Center’s Columbian Square, where nine students competed for the title of GW’s Funniest Student and a chance to compete with students from other D.C.-area universities at the D.C. Improv on Feb. 23. The event, sponsored by WRGW and Program Board, was part of Winter Hoopla week.

Contestants, who performed five- to six-minute acts, were judged based on stage presence, content and material and audience reaction. Jokes covered topics such as drugs,, accents, the Weather Channel, Super Bowl commercials and even faking heart attacks.

As many as 100 students eating dinner at J Street were amused with the jabs at the Olsen twins and President Bush.

Student Erika Tepler said she was impressed with the comedy.

“My mother always said that if I wanted to find a nice Jewish boy, I should hang out in front of the medical school. But it turns out I should hang out at Improv,” Tepler said.

Jessie Baltes and Brian Golding both won the competition and will represent GW at the finals at D.C. Improv. They will compete with the winners from five other universities: American, Catholic, George Mason, Georgetown and the University of Maryland.

Allyson Jaffe, manager of the D.C. Improv, organized all of the events at the universities. She said she was impressed with the outcome of the GW competition, despite the smaller accommodations in Columbian Square. The event was held in the Hippodrome last year.

“It amazes me when you have nine people, not standup comedians, and for some reason, whatever it is, they are able to come on stage and have no fear. This was not a competition – it was a celebration of talented fun and eclectic fun,” Jaffe said.

Baltes, a transfer student who described himself as “naturally the class clown,” caught the attention of judges when he picked out an audience member after joking about and finding women.

“I can stalk you all from the comfort of my home,” Baltes joked.

Golding said he was surprised at his victory.

“I didn’t think I was funny, nor did the audience. But I still won. Let me tell you though, $20 in your pocket for the judges goes a long way,” Golding mused.

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