“I’ve had so many crazy nights that I can’t legally talk about,” said comedian Chris Distefano during his performance at Falk Theater last Wednesday night. The show, put on by Student Productions, was met with roaring laughter by students.
Students were in Falk’s lobby waiting to be seated at 7, an hour before the performance began. Distefano is best known from his work on MTV original television shows Girl Code and Guy Code, and many students were already fans.
“I love watching Guy Code and Girl Code and he was always one of the funniest comedians that were on the show,” said freshman marine biology major Gina Gruttadaurio. “He always makes it a lot of fun to watch.”
UT has had several well-known performers in the past, including the indie dance duo Matt & Kim, electronic music group 3OH!3, and comedian Heather McDonald from the show Chelsea Lately.
“We really try to reach out to bigger names because that draws a lot more people. The fact that we’re having it in Falk Theater, instead of Reeves alone, there’s a lot more space for people to come,” said Student Productions President and senior advertising and public relations major Sophie Moskowitz. “It’s pretty early in the year, so I think a lot of freshmen are still looking for things to do and places to go with their new friends. This is a great thing to do just for some entertainment, some comedy and just for being able to say you saw Chris Distefano live.”
Distefano went from subject to subject and managed to show distaste for just about everything– Canadians, Snapchat, open-toed shoes, even people in the audience. He repeatedly called out one student for doing his philosophy homework during the show.
Distefano also took questions from the audience at the end. When a student asked him if he was going to marry his daughter’s mother, Distefano replied, “next question.” Students found Distefano’s involvement of the audience engaging.
Distefano also made comments about Tampa, from the city’s reputation for strip clubs: “Busch Gardens should be the name of a strip club,” to the university’s architecture: “It looks like the Kremlin in Russia,” and to Falk Theater: “I feel like Lincoln got shot here.”
The show received rave reviews from students.
“I actually didn’t know who he was, which was probably kind of weird for me to be there then, but he was super funny, very personable,” said freshman psychology major Caitlyn McCarty. “I would love to go to anything that’s free and entertaining, which is probably where my $20,000 a semester is going anyway!”
Student Productions has more events planned this year for other students who are fond of the “free and entertaining”. This semester, they are showing recently released movies on campus, including Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World and Inside Out. In November, they’ll take students on a trip to Orlando to see Cirque du Soleil. Student Productions will also host Party in the Park in the spring, UT’s annual concert. Last year, hip-hop artist Big Sean performed.
“I don’t believe that any other Party in the Park concert has ran out of tickets that quickly in the history of UT,” Moskowitz said, “We definitely have some big shoes to fill this year, but we’re excited.”
Students agree that these campus events are a valuable aspect of campus life. “It’s actually one of my favorite parts about going to UT,” said freshman biology major Alinna Ponze., “I like that they have a whole bunch of different events for different people with different interests.”