By Jessica Hergert
The Bart Luedeke Center Theater was filled with uproarious laughter as a full house welcomed comedian Chris DiStefano to Rider’s campus on Feb. 2.
After gaining popularity from starring on MTV2’s reality-comedy shows “Guy Code” and “Girl Code,” DiStefano, 33, has been building a successful career as a stand-up comedian. He currently co-hosts the Netflix competition show “The Ultimate Beastmaster.”
DiStefano started comedy in 2009, after obtaining his doctorate in physical therapy. He said he went to school mainly to please his family, but he knew comedy was his dream.
Sponsored by the Student Entertainment Council, the show was just what the excited students wanted to see to begin the Super Bowl weekend.
DiStefano’s act began as most classic stand-up does: just DiStefano, a stool he never sat on and a microphone.
“If I see a deer, I’ll have a heart attack,” DiStefano began in a thick accent as he commented on suburban Lawrenceville compared to his hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
The first half of his show highlighted everything from growing up in the city, relatable anecdotes of his time in college and his current struggle of raising a 2-year-old half-Puerto Rican, half-Italian daughter.
Of course, all the while he kept the crowd in stitches.
DiStefano knew exactly what would resonate with the millennial audience as he poked fun at the sensitive nature of this “woke generation” that he can’t quite understand.
“You guys have gotten emails in [all caps,] maybe been blocked on Twitter, but I’ve gotten hit,” DiStefano said, getting a huge response from the crowd. “If enemies dip their weapons in gluten it’s all over, [everybody will] just explode into kale chips.”
It is evident that DiStefano is close with his family; they seem to provide him with some of the best content for his sketches.
DiStefano used comedy to discuss difficult subjects like the divorce of his mother and father, a man he described as a “garlic knot with a heartbeat.”
During the second half, DiStefano, who had been interacting with various audience members all night, went against typical comedic routines by opening the floor to questions from students.
Many questions revolved around DiStefano’s career, “Guy Code” and his future plans.
DiStefano revealed he had filmed the pilot episode of a comedy sitcom based on his life that fell through at the last second. The show even starred “Orange is the New Black” actress, Diane Guerrero, as DiStefano’s ex-wife.
Students began asking more serious questions to which DiStefano responded, “Am I in therapy?”
Giving advice where he saw fit, DiStefano answered question after question. “What is your biggest regret?” was one question asked that piqued his curiosity.
After contemplation, he answered, “I don’t really regret anything. There are ups and downs and spins [in life] like a rollercoaster, but I am not in control.” He continued to say that he is just “happy enjoying the ride.”
DiStefano was completely transparent, letting students in on his fears – like having to check behind the shower curtain every time he uses the bathroom – and how he handles the stresses of stand-up.
“The comedy community is close-knit,” he stated, continuing on to say that he has had the opportunity to meet wonderful people through his job.
As DiStefano answered the final few questions, an audience member asked the one on everyone’s minds, “So, Patriots or Eagles?”
DiStefano laughed, confessing he is a hardcore Giants fan. He closed by joking, “Either way America wins,” and was awarded with thunderous applause.
As the rush of students filed out the BLC doors, many were still talking about their favorite jokes. Jessica Mandelbaum, senior elementary education major, commented on DiStefano’s performance saying, “I thought it was extremely funny. He kept me laughing the entire time, and he was personable too.”
The Q&A section of the show was particularly memorable to the Broncs. “It was fantastic,” junior filmmaking, TV and radio major Matt Mysholowsky said. “It was the first comedy show I’ve ever been to and I really liked that he answered my question.”
Published in the 02/07/18 edition