Family Weekend to spark a hilarious time in the BLC

Stand-up comedian Hal Sparks can be seen on TV, in movies and on the stage. Tonight, he will perform in the BLC  Theater from 10 p.m. to midnight.By Katherine Johnson

You may know him from his appearances in shows on VH1 like I Love the ’80s, I Love the ’90s, I Love the New Millennium, or the show Queer as Folk. You might know him from the movies Dude, Where’s My Car? or Spider-man 2, or even his stand-up comedy. No matter the case, chances are you have heard of Hal Sparks; now he is making his way to Rider University.

After growing up in a small town in Kentucky and being considered the class clown throughout most of his schooling, Sparks knew he was meant to do more with life than stay in the Bluegrass State. He was destined to be a famous comedian, and with help from some of his teachers, he set his career goal.

Only a few days after his high school graduation he made his way to Los Angeles to make it big. He started a comedic group called Here Comes the Neighborhood, which had a long run as the main act at the Icehouse Annex.

However, since all good things must come to an end, the group eventually disbanded, but Sparks did learn techniques he would use later on while performing.

Throughout his career, Sparks has experimented with almost every aspect of comedy. He has done stand-up, movies and television shows, as well as voice-overs for a cartoon and an animal in the movie Dr. Dolittle 2. He was even the host for E!’s Talk Soup, a show that pokes fun at television shows as well as actors and actresses.

Sparks’ most well-known performance, however, has been his role of Michael Novotny on the hit television show Queer as Folk. It is a former British show whose producer saw Sparks performing and decided he would be perfect for the racy material that the show would feature when it came to the United States.

Sparks is well-known for his appearances on VH1 shows, where he joins several other comedians to comment on pop culture.

He also participates in various competition-type shows for the network’s celebreality portion, including celebrity duets and the Celebrity Paranormal Project.

One of his memorable segments aired on the television show I Love the ’80s. He mimicked a Sinead O’Connor music video, including the black turtleneck and fake tears from eye drops he put in while he sang “Nothing Compares 2 U.” That demonstrates only one instance where his comedic genius showed through.

Sparks became so famous and well-known that he was asked to appear in a humerous cameo in Spider-man 2, where he tells Spider-man, “Nice spidey outfit,” without knowing that he is talking to the real superhero.

The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) is responsible for a various number of activities for Rider students to attend, from off-campus trips to concerts and more.

According to the president, Jenny Benack, when picking the next event SEC would host, they decided on a comedian since they had yet to have a comedian perform this year. While discussing the possibilities of whom they could get to come perform at Rider, they came up with a list of five comedians, and Sparks was on that list.

Many of the members of the committee had heard of Sparks, and it was a general consensus that his style of comedy would appeal to everyone here at Rider, even to those who had not heard of him from his previous work.

After listening to several of Sparks’ demo tapes from past stand-up performances, they chose Sparks as a favorite and put it to a vote in their general board, which eventually decided that he would be the perfect performer.

His performance will coincide with Family Weekend, which is what the SEC had in mind, since they gear their big productions around weekends that will be able to generate a lot of attention.

So prepare to laugh until it gets hard to breathe.

Hal Sparks performs tonight in the Bart Luedeke Theater Center from 10 p.m. to midnight.

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