Photo Credits: QUINN SPOONER / AGGIE. Members of stand-up comedy troupe StUCC performed at room 1100 at the Social Sciences & Humanities Building on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2019.
A look into the rise of the new stand-up club on campus
The Stand Up Comedy Club (StUCC) hosted its last show on Friday, Nov. 22 — although the show lasted two hours, from 7:15 to 9:10 p.m. at 1100 Social Sciences and Humanities Building, much of the audience lingered outside to meet and further applaud the comedians.
StUCC is a new club on campus that welcomes everyone, as well as non-students. Their club is built on the motto: “If you want to perform, we will give you the chance.” They hold four to five performances each quarter and each performance has about 13 comedians who get a five-minute set each. Every show is free, but the club welcomes donations and sells stickers.
“I have big, specific plans to carry out in the coming years,” said Will Alpers, a second-year political science major and director of StUCC. “Because I have a long time left at this college, I intend to use that time to make this club as big and important and visible to everyone on this campus as possible. I’m excited to make that happen. I want our club to not just be entertaining, but to serve the community — not just put on shows.”
StUCC meets twice a week. During meetings, members participate in workshops where comedians perform their jokes in front of club members and receive feedback.
“It happens very often where […] a comedian’s routine changes noticeably because they added suggestions from the club,” Alpers said. “And this is what professional comedians in the industry do, too. They workshop with each other on their own time.”
Not every workshop is required for members. Currently there are no set rules that is required in order to be considered a member of the club. The requirements to perform in a show are to show up to two meetings and do two workshops.
“In high school, I did a lot of public speaking,” said Cameron Evans, a first-year pre-landscape architecture major and member of StUCC. “I got a feel for that adrenaline rush to perform — that’s the kind of adrenaline junkie I am. I don’t do roller coasters. I do crowds.”
Although the club has been active for a few years now, this past year it has grown significantly, almost tripling its number of members. They now have about 50 members who attend weekly meetings.
“It’s just about getting more people to do good stuff in terms of comedy, and I think we’ve definitely been doing that,” said Ean Kimura, a third-year managerial economics major and president of StUCC. “We’ve been more open to having people join us. It’s just about giving people an opportunity to perform. There’s not a lot of places to do that if you want to do stand up comedy in Davis.”
Just last year, StUCC had about 10 members. Alpers recalled when he was a freshman and saw the flyer for the meetings, only to arrive, meet five people and then perform the next day. With a growing fan base and membership, StUCC is now reaching a larger crowd in Davis. Evans recalls that at the beginning of Fall Quarter, she and one other first-year student were the only girls in the club, which was intimidating to her.
“It’s interesting to be a girl in stand-up,” Evans said. “Stand-up is so often guy-heavy in the real world. But right now, female stand-ups are really having this moment. And so what we do is sometimes we’ll get together and we’ll talk about, ‘What can we talk about as girls that they can’t?’ And try to write funny material based on that.”
With this opportunity as a woman in stand-up, Hannah Button took the chance to create a 10-minute skit solely about her “tits,” as she phrased it. She was the closer and, following StUCC’s ideals, they save the best for last. To say the least, Button killed her set.
StUCC’s main goal is to become a pillar of the community. They are currently raising money to get better lighting equipment. Every performance is recorded and sent to the comedians so they can send it back home or review their own performance.
“People often say ‘there’s nothing to do in Davis, it’s such a boring small town,’” Alpers said. “I’ve been here for almost 20 years and I can tell you that’s basically true. But my point is that these comedy shows are something to do. This is adding culture to campus.”
Although a fear of failing may be on the performer’s minds, Alpers suggests practicing.
“I think I’m good at bombing,” Alpers said. “Because my philosophy is just keep going. Just don’t skip a beat. Don’t stop, because it only gets worse if you look visibly rattled when a joke doesn’t land.”
StUCC is an open community that welcomes anyone who has even the slightest interest in comedy, whether it be watching or performing.
“I love that anyone can do it,” Evans said. “It’s an interesting art form. It’s really just going up there with who you are.”
Written by: Itzelth Gamboa — firstname.lastname@example.org