Andy Borowitz, famous satirist and television and radio show personality, performed an intimate and highly entertaining act to a packed Campbell Hall on April 24. Famous for his sardonic wit, Borowitz is well-known for his popular online blog, The Borowitz Report, which features hilarious and ridiculously far-fetched news stories.
Borowitz greeted the crowd – comprised primarily of various community members and Santa Barbara residents – with a teasing, albeit good-natured welcome, expressing what an honor it was to be performing at UCSB, as it is clearly “every comedian’s dream.” This topic became a recurring motif throughout the evening, as he related a story about having brunch with Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld in which they discussed their upcoming gigs, which involved appearances on Letterman and Leno, respectively. Borowitz decided not divulge his plans to venture out to UCSB out of embarrassment. One audience member brought to Borowitz’s attention that, ironically enough, John Stewart had once performed at UCSB, but Borowitz was quick to insist that Stewart denies this fact. This had the crowd literally howling with laughter on several occasions, and it was clear that everybody was thrilled and humbled to have him there.
Borowitz had the audience erupting in laughter on almost every subject he addressed, from his anecdotes about airport security, to his unhealthy addiction to Tylenol PM, to his strong aversion to modern technology (he is particularly opposed to Bluetooth, iPhones and iPods), and his awkward stories about adolescence and his teenage years. One memorable topic was Borowitz’ telling of his experiences living in LA in the ’80s as he was trying to get work in the Hollywood industry, in which he admitted that he did a lot of things he wasn’t proud of. Being the truly hilarious raconteur that he is, Borowitz thrived off these stories and elicited endless positive feedback, and made even the most mundane themes of everyday life seem utterly brilliant and riotous.
However, his most entertaining moments arguably resulted from his political material, which featured strong anti-Bush sentiments, as well as a hilariously caustic approach to current events and the public figures involved in them. When discussing the Bush administration, he told of trying to come up with a list of solid achievements that Bush was responsible for pioneering, and came up with the revelation that “the war on terror is so awesome” because Bush didn’t wage a war on terrorism or terrorists, but against a human emotion.
Near the end of his performance, Borowitz let the audience ask questions about the politics of the future to which he was to respond with his predictions, such as who would win the Democratic nomination or who would be the next public figure to be taken down by a scandal – to which he responded that he hoped and prayed to God that it would be Ryan Seacrest.
Overall, Borowitz’ visit to UCSB was inarguably successful and satisfying to all in attendance – despite his mortification at being there.