Unoriginal puns hurts quality of stand up comedian
Comedian Grant Lyon’s lack of knowledge of the University proved costly in an otherwise amusing performance.
Lyon visited Tuesday evening to perform in the University Center Houston Room, beginning with jokes targeted to college students.
He started off with the size of campus, which immediately grabbed the audience’s attention and set a good impression for the rest of the show.
Although the routine didn’t feature any raunchy material like presentations by comedians Louis C.K. and Margaret Cho, he delivered an acceptable and entertaining stand up show until he stumbled when he asked attendees for a show of hands of who lived on campus and was surprised at the quiet audience.
As a result, his dorm room jokes failed to grab a response.
Lyon could hardly be expected to understand UH as well as its students, but the University is known for being a large commuter campus, which caused Lyon’s strong start to fumble.
Lyon’s show continued mostly without a hitch afterward. He bounced off of an audience members Q-and-A segment that fueled his jokes, which began to pull the audience into creating something relatable and affective.
Still, something was off about the routine. Lyon’s jokes were leaving a flat, bittersweet taste through to the end.
His jokes have been played out a dozen times before. Puns about household pests, adults living with their parents and disliking small children were all poorly rehashed throughout Lyon’s performance and they have been done better.
This isn’t to say that Lyon’s jokes weren’t funny in their own right, but rather that they would have been hilarious with a punch of originality packed behind them.
As a result, Lyon’s few original jokes were his best and had left the entire audience doubled over with laughter. He proved that he can write jokes well, which was disappointing when the rest of his show fluctuated between good and horrible quips.
In the end, Lyon’s performance provided a quiet and relaxed entertainment for UH students as he completed his latest tour at college campuses.
Lyon is a refreshing change of comedy and one that future audiences should hopefully get to experience as well.
The use of playing-it-safe and unoriginal material didn’t break any new grounds and it didn’t have to. The audience still genuinely enjoyed his show and Lyon seemed to have enjoyed being on stage in front of them.