Despite a last minute cancellation from one of the event’s headliners, the I.V. Standup comedy show still managed to draw a large crowd and several laughs to its premiere with nearly 155 people in attendance.
The I.V. Standup comedy show featured headliner Joey Diaz who is best known for his work in “The Longest Yard,” “Analyze That” and “MADtv.” The event, which took place in Embarcadero Hall on Saturday at 8 p.m., also included performances by comedian Jerry Rocha, producer Alfonso Ochoa and both Gregg Pappas and Jeff Urea from the improvisational Comics Anonymous group. Headliner Josh Wolf, who was featured in the fourth season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” canceled his performance due to a last-minute shoot for NBC’s “My Name Is Earl.”
Ochoa said he has worked with Wolf several times and that it is very rare for him to cancel a performance.
Meanwhile, Urea, who is one of the event’s organizers, said he was glad to offer I.V. residents alternative programming for the weekend.
“This was one of the best audiences we have had so far,” Urea said. “I think it’s great they are here and safe for a few hours on a Saturday night.”
During the evening, several acts garnered loud applause from the audience, but it was headliner Diaz who received the most cheers for his performance.
Diaz said that although he performs very little at universities, he was glad to do standup at UCSB.
“Some [universities] are unresponsive and even shut me out,” Diaz said. “It was a great show. There was a lot of great energy.”
In regards to his crowd reception, Diaz said that it was mostly due to his years of experience and that venues such as the I.V. Standup comedy show are great because they allow new comedians to hone their skills as well.
“I’m not better than them,” Diaz said. “I have just been here ten years.”
According to Ochoa, the UCSB audience was as courteous and receptive to the new performers as they were to the veteran comedians. He also said this atmosphere was greatly appreciated by the new comedians because it is usually very difficult to perform on the first try.
I.V. Standup member Matt Gazulis said he enjoys the opportunities the venue gives him.
“The only way to get better is to have that stage time,” Gazulis said. “You need to experience bombing, experience heckling.”
Pappas, a third year business economics major, said he enjoys performing at the show because it allows him to both study and work alongside other well-known acts.
Both of the show’s producers said I.V. Standup hopes to uncover amateur comics who may one day become famous comedians.
Second year undeclared major Stephen Cook said he enjoyed going to the comedy show and appreciated having alternative programming in I.V.
“It’s a good break from going out and getting drunk,” Cook said. “It’s a great way to start Saturday night and everyone I have been to has been great.”
Although Saturday’s event was I.V. Standup’s first show of the 2007-08 season, the weekend event originally premiered last school year before entering into hiatus. Next week’s show will feature comedian Sam Tripoli and take place on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Embarcadero Hall. Tripoli hosts “Wide World of Spike” on Spike TV and has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend.”