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Saturday, October 1, 2022

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‘Talent’-ed comedian gets Coogs cackling


“I’ve got a big crush on Justin Bieber,” comedian Melissa Villasenor confessed to a UH crowd. “I think it’s his voice. It’s so sexy.” Suddenly Villasenor’s voice shifts, “Ooooh wooah-wooah oh,” she sings, deftly mimicking the 17-year-old pop star’s unmistakable croon.

Villasenor, widely known for her appearance on “America’s Got Talent, showcased her ability for dead-on impersonations in the University Center’s Houston Room Thursday in an event sponsored by the Student Programming Board.

The list of cultural icons she mimicked ranged from Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus to Wanda Sykes and Dora the Explorer.

At the age of 12, she’d begun impressing her friends by mimicking Britney Spears. At 15, she’d performed her first stand-up set at the Laugh Factory Summer Camp in Los Angeles. Now, at age 24, with nearly 10 years experience, she seemed amazingly at ease and confident on stage, as if she was still just trying to make a group of friends laugh.

Her material wasn’t all just funny voices though; she also shared hilarious anecdotes about awkward high school experiences, annoying boyfriends, and her time working retail at Forever 21.

Daniella Garcia, assistant director of UH’s Council of Ethnic Organizations, enjoyed the chance to see the comedian.

“I loved the sort of uncomfortable moments … where I’m laughing and cringing at the same time,” she said.

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