Chelsea Lately comedian takes stage between classes
By Michaela Branagan
photo Compliments by Roy Wood Jr.’s website.
Comic Roy Wood Jr. performed at UW-Fox for the campus' monthly "Pizza and a Punchline" event over the noon hour in the student union Feb. 15.
The stand-up comedy show was arranged by members of the Campus Activities Board (C.A.B.), who provided free pizza and admission for the occasion.
“Roy Wood Jr. was one of the cleanest comedians we have brought in, and yet he was still one of the funniest,” sophomore and C.A.B. co-president Sara Schumacher said.
Wood joked about topics like Facebook, working at a fast-food restaurant and the Milwaukee Brewers with the audience.
“I like how he was very relatable to the audience and the age group that we were in, you could look around and see everyone laughing from 18 year olds to the faculty,” sophomore Katie Kuske said.
Wood believes that people have more similarities than differences and his material focused on the aspects of life that affect everyone.
“I try my best to talk about common threads on what I see and what we all experience because that’s the one thing that crosses age and race,” Wood said. “We all eat, we all have relationships, we all have something that makes us upset, so in those regards people are the same…it’s not hard at all to find a common denominator.”
In between comedy tours and television appearances, Wood performs at many colleges and universities throughout the country.
“I like college crowds because they’re energetic, they still have life…the more carefree someone is, the more connected they are to what you’re talking about onstage,” Wood said.
The Alabama-native graduated from Florida A&M with a degree in broadcast journalism and has also hosted numerous talk radio shows.
He began his comedy career when he performed at a student comedy night in his junior year at Florida State.
“I like radio, radio is fun, but comedy still is my bread and butter. That’s still my first love,” Wood said.
Wood writes joke material based on his personal experiences and observations.
“When I first started, I wrote about student loans and book buy-back, because I was still in college.” “But [following] a couple of bad breakups and getting fired from a couple of radio stations, you’ve got some new things to talk about,” Wood said.
Wood draws influences from classic acts in the comedy world and is encouraged to improve his craft by also watching newer performers.
“I like a lot of guys that are a little darker…I’ve always enjoyed George Carlin, Paul Moody and Doug Stanhope and D.L. Hughley,” Wood said.
“There’s certain comics who you look at and it makes you want to go home and try harder [at comedy performances]”.
Wood was named one of the 12 Comics To Watch in 2009 by Entertainment Weekly, has been featured on national television shows including CBS’ The Late Show With David Letterman and NBC’s Last Comic Standing and is a regular guest comedian on the E! Network’s Chelsea Lately.
Schumacher, co-president Heather Buchholz and senior student activities coordinator Jeff Kuepper collaborate on various activities with other C.A.B. members from lectures to concerts that are both fun and educational.
“[C.A.B. events] augment the curriculum by bringing visiting lecturers to campus, broadening students’ perspectives by exposing [students] to a variety of cultural performances and providing some welcome stress relief with entertainment,” Kuepper said.
Such events are held at least once a month throughout the academic year.
Representatives of C.A.B. scout for talent by watching video clips of potential acts online.
Upcoming C.A.B. events include the string quartet Pro Arte Quartet Mar. 26, and the internationally-acclaimed motivational speaker Hal Elrod Apr. 3.
Both events will be held in UW-Fox’s student union at noon.
For more details on future entertainers or lectures sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, visit C.A.B. Events.