Stand-up comedy is not easy. It’s one of those art forms which seems readily accessible to anyone not already embedded in that world. “I can just go up on stage and say stuff? What’s so hard about that?” However, anyone who has ever tried remaining confident on stage while reciting jokes you wrote yourself — sometimes amidst audience derision or a legitimately unfunny routine — knows how much of a challenge stand-up really is. You’re a writer, a performer and a psychologist all in one.
But if you feel like you have what it takes, where can you go to test out your comedy chops? Look no further than UCSB’s own “Laughology.” Going on five years now, Laughology is a weekly event on campus — every Saturday at 8 p.m. — where stand-ups from all over the country come down to do time at Embarcadero Hall. All the headlining comedians performing at Laughology are professionals who have performed on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, late night talk shows, etc. Last year Adam DeVine from “Workaholics” was a headliner. Best of all, it’s always free! It’s a good way to spend a Saturday night without wasting money on booze.
Now, how does that concern you, the student comedian? Well, if you want to do time yourself, you can! In fact, Laughology is run by students enrolled at UCSB, which includes Maximilian Robert Lockwood, Dash Nye, Ian Davis and me. More students, like Michael Townes, are also joining to flaunt their comedic selves. The USCB audience is very welcoming and provides some of the best audience experiences my cohorts and I have had as comedians.
However, this all wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the steadfast determination of Ventura-based comic Andrey Belikov as well as Jeff Urrea, a UCSB alumnus, who started this event together five years ago. In fact, before they could get funding for all the comics that year, Andrey and Jeff almost faced bankruptcy from spending thousands out of their own pockets. Without that kind of dedication for the art of comedy, we might not have the great event we enjoy today.
So, for any comic looking to try out their new routine, and for any students looking for some great free entertainment, look no further than Laughology.
And, did I mention it was free?