Four stand-up comedians from TUComedy will advance to the next round of RooftopComedy’s National College Comedy Competition.
Junior BTMM major Matthew D’Avella, sophomore communications major Rudy Mezzy, junior advertising major Aaron Miller, and junior film and media arts major Nathan Jaiyeola will compete against four performers from the University of North Carolina in the “Ultimate 8 Selection Round,” in which online viewers can vote for their favorite teams’ performances.
The team with the most votes will proceed to the next round of the competition.
TUComedy recently won the “Regional Rivals” elimination round after competing against four comics from the University of Pennsylvania.
“I was sent an e-mail by RooftopComedy saying ‘Congratulations,'” said Miller, founder of TUComedy. “It was very exciting to me.”
Miller said his involvement with TUComedy has already attracted attention beyond Temple’s comedy scene.
“I’ve been approached by a few people to participate in different comedy events,” he said. “I’m working with the Second City and Philadelphia Theatre Company this summer. I’ll be keeping blogs and a lot of different things, utilizing comedy writing.”
Miller said he hopes TUComedy’s position in the competition will gain the university some attention, too.
“Hopefully we’ll get Temple some exposure in the comedy world,” he said. “I don’t think Temple’s necessarily considered a school where a lot of comedians came from, except for Bob Saget and Bill Cosby.”
The four performers represent one of 16 remaining competing teams. If TUComedy wins the Ultimate 8 Selection Round and the two consecutive rounds after it, the team will be sent to the Funniest 4 Selection Round in Aspen, Colo.
“That is the prize in itself because it’s a full week paid to Aspen,” Miller said. “If we win the entire thing in itself, we get a big trophy.”
When teammate Mezzy learned TUComedy won the Regional Rivals round, he decided to size up the competition.
“The first thing I did when we advanced was watch everybody from the University of North Carolina’s videos,” he said. “I guess I prepared more than I celebrated. The celebration won’t be for a while.”
Mezzy said landing a career as a comedian would be ideal for him.
“This is definitely what I would like to be doing for the rest of my life,” he said. “This competition could open up doors for me because in Aspen, there will be a lot of big names in comedy. Hopefully someone could come across my talents and kick start my career.”
Mezzy said his inspiration to perform stand-up comedy came from his childhood.
“My dad was always a very funny guy when I was growing up,” he said. “I would do impressions for him, and I was just always good at making my family and friends laugh, and my dad was very supporting and helpful through all that.”
Mezzy said he remains confident about Temple’s position in the competition.
“This round entails basically what the first round did. It’s just a different school,” he said. “We advanced in the bracket – a first for a Temple team in 2009 – we still need the votes.”
Fans can vote for each comedy team at rooftopcomedy.com or send votes to m.Rooftop2009.com via mobile phone.
Caitlyn Conefry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.