Comedian Kiry Shabazz Performs at Northwest

SAC Comic Kiry Shabazz performing on stage Feb. 1 in the Charles Johnson Theater. Shabazz has performed on many big stages including “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Comedian Kiry Shabazz brought his unique style of humor to the people of Maryville during his set Feb. 1.

The event was part of an ongoing comedy series throughout the school year and was sponsored by the Student Activities Council. The event was held in the Charles Johnson Theater and brought students as well as community members together for a night of laughs and entertainment.

Shabazz got his beginning in comedy by being a class clown with his friends and discovering his love for improv and comedy.

“(I was) just constantly getting in trouble at work, just being silly and goofy, and also messing around with my coworkers,” Shabazz said. “From there, it got me into improv and the rest is history.”

Shabazz was among the comedians SAC saw perform at the National Association of College Activities Conference in Boston.

Britney Poage, an elementary and special education freshman, was the special events director for this performance and was excited for the chance to serve as the chair for this event.

“It is really fun getting to meet with agents and email them, and you get to meet the talent and give them whatever they need prior to their performance,” Poage said. “It is also really cool to see everyone’s smiles during and after the event.”

Shabazz said there is a difference in the types of atmospheres when performing on a college campus versus performing in a comedy club.

“Well in a club setting, people are coming there to laugh and they know what to expect,” Shabazz said. “I feel like on a college campus, you have a lot of first-time students who have never even been to a college show or its their first time at an event. It kind of feels like a lecture to them, so being respectful and paying attention (are what they are expected to do). Where in a club, it is a lot more expressive and more relaxed.”

Amiere McNeal, a freshman chemistry major, was excited to attend this event. McNeal said Shabazz made direct connections with the audience.

“He was so funny, and I could relate to him on so many levels … I really liked how he was openly able to interact with the audience,” McNeal said.“A lot of comedians typically just tell their jokes and then leave, and they don’t really interact with the people in the audience and get our view.”

Dominique Brooks, a freshman criminology major with a minor in psychology, left this event feeling more connected to the Northwest community.

“These types of events get me out, otherwise I am just sitting in my dorm room watching Netflix,” Brooks said. “Having events, especially like this, helps students get out of their rooms and make connections with other students and feel more at home on this campus.”

Poage said there will be one more comedian coming to campus later this semester.

“We are very excited to see what that performance has in stores for us as we go forward this semester,” Poage said.

The final comedian, Kabir Singh will be performing March 1 in the Charles Johnson Theater.

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