A group of 11 people (three kneeling the in front, eight in the back) in front of a backdrop of colorful Post-It notes
Attendees at the Coffee House Series: Comedy Night hosted by the Joe Crowley Student Union on Oct. 3. Photo courtesy of Viviane Ugalde.

The Joe Crowley Student Union is not a stranger to special events and buzzing activity, which could be felt on Thursday, Oct. 3 during the Coffee House Series Comedy Night event.

Behind the staircase in front of Wells Fargo, tables and seats were focused on an empty stage being prepped. People started filling in the seats and settling in 20 minutes prior to showtime. Scents of coffee and pastries filled the air. It felt very relaxed—cozy even—as the quiet murmur of the Joe stayed constant throughout the evening.

The main event was Kelsey Cook, a comedian who’s been featured on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and Comedy Central. She is currently touring across the country over the course of the next year in multiple venues. Cook also has her own podcast called “Self-Helpless,” which she co-hosts with comedians Taylor Tomlinson and Delanie Fischer. Cook regularly has shows in New York and in Los Angeles at a variety of known comedy clubs such as The Laugh Factory and New York Comedy Club.

But before she could get on stage, the UNR Comedy Club had a lineup of their comedians open for her. 11 comedians from the club went up on stage to perform—each of which with a slightly different sense of humor. 

A multitude of topics were poked fun at. There was variety of comedy styles, but few of the comedians shied away from shock humor. Many of these students were bold in their comedy, but not all the jokes landed. It was a very supportive atmosphere where every comedian got a full shake. The confidence it took to go up on stage is not to be understated with such an open venue as many people walked up and down the stairs right behind the comedians on stage.

After her performance, Cook talked with the crowd—many of which were a part of the comedy club. Cook gave tips about comedy and answered questions about how she got to where she is today. 

“You really have to love it,” Cook said to the audience about pursuing comedy. 

She also documented her history in comedy and how she initially planned to be a math teacher at first, but events she couldn’t have predicted sent her elsewhere. The sense of community truly revealed itself when Cook walked off stage. Cook mingled with the attendees and comedy club members, took photos and talked briefly with some of them. After a night of laughs, a group picture was taken with everyone standing together—showing the fun atmosphere that comedy can provide.

Jayden Perez can be reached at ryleejackson@sagebrush.unr.edu, or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.