Jimmy O. Yang shines at Rowan comedy show

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Jimmy O. Yang brings laughter and entertainment to Rowan at his comedy show. - Photo via Matthew Wayman

Jimmy O. Yang brought the jokes, and the Rowan community brought the laughter. On Sept. 30, the annual fall comedy show, which is put together by Rowan After Hours (RAH) and the Student University Planners, was headlined by Jimmy O. Yang, featuring Zainab Johnson and surprise guest Forest Shaw at the Student Rec Center. In order to purchase a ticket to the show, attendees had to be at least 18 or older, a student, affiliated with a student, or a Rowan alumnus.

Doors opened at 8 p.m. which saw an enormous line of people that wrapped around the Rec Center, which went as far as Robinson Hall. Expectations were high for the show as many students flocked to see Yang. Jack Rhodes, a freshman and a major in mechanical engineering, is a huge fan of Yang and just had to come and bring his family. “I’ve seen his specials before and I saw they were having him and I had to get tickets,” said Rhodes. 

Forest Shaw makes a surprise guest entrance to Jimmy O. Yang’s show. – Photo via Matthew Wayman

Johnson was advertised as the opening act, but the crowd was surprised to see Shaw. Shaw is best known for his appearances in “The Jim Jefferies Show,” “The Conor Moore Show,” and “Poor Decisions.” He warmed up the crowd by interacting with them and talking about life with his dog. With his logic it makes one wonder, would your dog run indoors and save you in a fire, or would he choose the food he was eating?

After Shaw, Johnson would finally make her way on stage to a great ovation. You may recognize Johnson if you’ve seen “Upload,” “100 Humans,” and “Avant-Guardians.” Comedy is subjective and most of what Johnson said was met with laughter. She poked fun at dating, homeowning, and even being a proud gun owner. Although from the crowd’s reaction, she may have pushed the line with a joke about overweight people, but the majority laughed at it. Charlize Curcio, a junior and exercise science major, did not mind the lines being pushed. “Say anything you want, I will not break,” said Curcio.

Johnson would make a few new fans since some students would like to check out her television roles. Gabby Lang, a senior psychology major, went into this comedy show knowing nothing about the comedians and came out entertained. “I thought it was better than last year,” Lang said. “I really want to watch the second openers show [Johnson].” 

Zainab Johson opens the Jimmy O. Yang comedy show. – Photo via Matthew Wayman

Yang would come on stage to a grand ovation. The crowd went wild as he got into his bits right away on topics such as dating and Asian stereotypes. Some of his jokes you may recognize from his Amazon Prime specials, “Good Deal” and “Guess How Much?”

“He did some jokes that I’ve seen before, so I knew what was happening, but I like that he was testing out new material,” said Rhodes.  

Some of the new material landed while others didn’t get the reaction he intended. Yang even poked fun at the fact that the new material was hit or miss, but he got the crowd involved in ways to keep the show from feeling stagnant. 

Yang and the company gave the Rowan community a great show. The crowd was visibly pleased with the performances. 

“The expectations were middle,” Curcio said. “But it blew my expectations. But overall, I thought it was a really good show.”

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