A comedy showcase starring John Witherspoon took place last Friday evening in Mitten Hall’s Great Court, the first of a series of events for Temple’s homecoming.
The event, sponsored by the Main Campus Program Board and The Office of Student Activities, was a great start to Homecoming and had the crowd in hysterics.
For many, John Witherspoon was the only attraction. Senior Broadcasting major Andy Culotta, 23, was among the people waiting outside Mitten Hall. He expected a good show and said, “I’m happy to see John Witherspoon and whoever else comes on.”
The doors finally opened a half hour late at 8:30 p.m. People rushed in to grab seats and the Court was transformed. Dim lights shone on black curtains hanging alongside the stage, providing an intimate atmosphere. Meanwhile, people moved in their seats with their bodies accompanying music blasting from the speakers. The wait bothered no one.
Marvin Dixon began by appearing onstage rapping. He welcomed the crowd with “Word up y’all, ” and told them, “We got a bangin’ show tonight!”
Dixon “played” with the audience, even calling a few people onstage. He prepared the audience for what was coming, by warning, “This ain’t no clean s*** show.” He was right. Profanities were used throughout the show, which had almost no G-rated content.
Former Temple student, Tu Rae Gordon came on next. He expressed his love for weed and CNN, referring to it as the “Caucasian News Network.”
Dixon came in between acts and continually provided antics to keep the audience off their seats.
Gerald Kelly, a New York native, was the next comedian in line. He mused on the differences between races and sexes and even mentioned his children.
Witherspoon’s entrance was unique. He walked through the audience to come onstage. He danced around a bit before chanting his popular expression, “Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.” His introduction was hilarious, talking about his family and race (a theme common with all comedians).
He called the audience the “hip-hop generation” and mentioned Jay-Z. Witherspoon then treated the audience with a few lines from a Smokey Robinson song. Towards the end, Witherspoon became serious telling the audience to stay off crack and have protected sex. He left the stage at 11 p.m., again walking through the now ecstatic audience.
The show was a success according to people mingling outside. An excited Kuri Edwards, 17, a freshmen studying business said, “It was awesome! I’m glad I came. It was well worth the $10. He’s a legend. A comedy legend.”
Not everyone thought Witherspoon was the most amusing comedian. Senior kinesthetics major Naim Lynn, 22, preferred Dixon and Kelly over Witherspoon. “Witherspoon was funny, but he wasn’t that funny,” Lynn said.
But Lynn agreed with many people saying it was a good show.