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Rob Gleeson entertains Monmouth College

January 24, 2014

Along with stand-up comedian, Rob Gleeson considers himself a bit of an advisor. His advice: practice safe sex. His joke: if you don’t practice safe sex, the only way not to get STDs is to not get tested. And such was the night for the audience at the Association for Student Activity Programming’s first event for the Spring 2014 semester. Filled with on-the-spot improv and crowd interaction, Gleeson, of iCarly, How I Met Your Mother, and the AT&T “Todd” commercials with Will Arnett, performed his stand-up routine at 7 p.m. in Dahl Chapel last Saturday.

Gleeson, a stand-up comedian since his days opening for college acts at the age of 18, entered the stage with a flair of confidence rolling off impromptu jokes from everything about Knox College, the weather, and doing his stand-up routine in a Chapel. His start-up bit played off the fact the audience claimed there was “nothing to do” in Monmouth. He swore that when he Googled “things to do in Monmouth,” his computer “feel asleep.” In fact, Gleeson admitted much of his bits were impromptu for that evening, saying, “Roughly 80 percent of my jokes were off-script.” His reasoning? He felt really “comfortable” with the crowd of almost one hundred.

It didn’t take long for the crowd to get comfortable with the entertainer either. Excited and ready to relax after a tough first week back, the crowd provided enough comedic material for Gleeson as he quickly ridiculed various comments by the crowd. Everything from students coming in late to a student’s remark that he lived “near China,” nothing escaped the hilarious jests of Gleeson. Gleeson’s relaxed performance and the audience’s willful commentary created a wonderful atmosphere for audience and entertainer alike. After the show Gleeson said, “He probably never met a better group of students.”

As improv shows go—even though this wasn’t intended as one—the performance had sparks of unintended hilarity. Gleeson, a graduate of Denver University who studied abroad in China, spontaneously rambled out Mandarin, only to be responded to by an audience member. Without missing a beat, Gleeson turned the interaction into a joke about the ridiculousness of an African American commenting on a white guy’s Mandarin pronunciation. For reasons unknown even to the entertainer, the second half of the performance included Gleeson standing on a stool. From his new viewpoint, his witty commentary rained upon the audience with an added visual silliness.

Chase Mowery
Features Editor

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