Crystal-clear comedy

Phlegm and sex do not usually mix, but for Billy Crystal it was a perfect match during this year’s Colonials Weekend headline performances at Smith Center.

Crystal, the actor and frequent Oscar host, joked about sex and drugs and played with racial and cultural stereotypes throughout his performances.

“What happens at the Smith Center stays at the Smith Center,” Crystal said during the nearly sold-out show on Friday night.

The comedian included many jokes about GW in his act which drew heavy laughter from the crowd. Crystal joked about GW’s mascot, the school’s colors and the student body composition.

“This is a great school,” he said. “I did a lot of research there’s 9,700 undergrads here from 130 countries, so it’s like dinner time at Angelina Jolie’s house.”

Crystal said Colonials Weekend is a great tradition at GW, noting that this was the first time many parents had seen their children in five weeks.

“It’s hard for your parents when you leave.they’re thinking, ‘That’s the last time I’ll see my baby!’ and you’re thinking, ‘I’ll move home in about two to three years,'” he said.

Political jokes were also weaved into his act. Crystal joked about how times have not changed much since he went to college in 1965.

“Back then we had a president from Texas who we really didn’t like and were involved in a war we really couldn’t win,” he said.

Crystal, who has hosted the Oscars on eight separate occasions, played a video clip of the opening monologue to the last event he hosted. The clip, a parody of classic movies, was played on Thursday night when he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a prestigious comedy honor awarded at the Kennedy Center.

Crystal ended the Friday night show with an interactive scene, where he brought on stage a GW parent, two students and University President Steven Knapp and asked them to make animal noises as if they were in the jungle.

“Dr. Knapp is the greatest sport ever,” Crystal said in an interview after the Friday night show. “We had a great time together. The students got to see him in a different way and I think that was really important.”

Crystal said he had not done a college show in a while.

“Its refreshing, really keeps you on your toes,” he said.

Junior Blake Baron said Crystal picked the right jokes for his audience.

“I’m Jewish, so the Jewish jokes were hilarious,” he said. “Billy Crystal really appealed to students and parents as well. It was fun to watch and I was enthralled the entire time.”

Peter Konwerski, assistant vice president of Student and Academic Support Services, said the performances were a success. Friday night’s show was nearly sold out, and Saturday’s was sold out.

The ability to purchase tickets to the performances was opened to the general public this year, which Konwerski said has happened in the past.

About 200 seats were opened to the public so that those who came to see Crystal for the Mark Twain Awards would be able to see his performance at Smith Center, Konwerski said.

“I think people seemed like they were having a great time,” he said. “That was the most important thing for all of us.”

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