He’s no joke: Comedian Kellen Erskine takes the stage

By Jason Mount

Rider students enjoyed interactive comedy with comedian Kellen Erskine on Sept. 18. in the Yvonne Theater. Students were eager to forget the stress of school and spend a night laughing with friends.

Erskine caught Student Entertainment Council comedy chair James Green’s attention with his work on other shows, which convinced him that Erskine would do well at Rider.

“What stood out to me was that he has performed on many well-known platforms such as Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dry Bar Comedy and Amazon’s Inside Jokes,” Green said.

Junior theater performance major Rebecca Ponticello often enjoys the comedians Rider brings to campus and Erskine was no exception.

“I usually love when comedians make fun of our school,” mused Ponticello. “It’s pretty funny. But this guy was really interactive.”

An interactive element was what Green was looking for and this quality of Erskine’s led Green to choose him.

“He suited my expectations very well,” Green said. “Previously viewing his work, I saw that he interacted with the crowd, which is exactly what I was looking for.”

Ponticello admitted to not knowing who Erskine was prior to his performance on campus, but said she enjoyed his act nevertheless.

“I liked the amount of audience participation that he had. It was very interactive,” she said.

However, the audience participation was also one of the aspects of Erskine’s act she thought took away from the overall performance.

“The audience participation segments went on for too long and started to not be funny,” said Ponticello. “After making a joke about how most school mascots are horses, tigers, lions and sometimes bears, he asked the audience if we had any dumb mascots. It was one of the many times he looked to the audience to answer him.”

Despite the length of audience participation segments, she still enjoyed the night overall.

“I thought he was really funny and was a great  escape from homework,” Ponticello said. “He was a very enjoyable comedian for our demographic. He made a joke about New Jersey and our pride for not pumping our own gas. It was great and kept us all laughing because it was so relatable.”

Green also believed that Erskine was a good choice to perform at Rider and believed that audience members left satisfied with the performance.

“I believe they enjoyed his presence, and could relate to many of the things that were said,” Green said with a smile.

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