Arts and Entertainment

CAB Comedy presents: Steve Macone and Tommy Ryman

By Brian Burns ’17

At the beginning of finals period, Steve Macone amd Tommy Ryman brought some much-needed laughter to the Barn on Saturday night, Dec. 6.

Opening act Macone, a writer for The New Yorker and The Onion, had an easygoing style.  He immediately noted the lack of attendance, deeming the small crowd, “the few, the proud.”  Like most comedians (including the headliner Ryman), Macone noted the College’s rural setting.  “I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a village before,” he said. “Is it just a Christmas village?”  When Macone asked what Hamilton College is known for, there was a hearty shout of “drinking!” that received one of the biggest laughs of the night.  Macone’s style of comedy was clean; he never dwelled too long on a punchline and moved between jokes with little connective tissue.  He tackled controversial issues such as Catholic Church, noting the “cult-like” aspects of mass.  Perhaps his most inspired bit was when he compared religion to a game of “telephone” that happened over the course of centuries.  Macone also joked about using disproportionate slices of pie to talk about capitalism with his family over Thanksgiving.

A running gag in Macone’s routine was his confusion over Hamilton’s mascot.  Given that the College’s mascot, “Alex,” is a new presence on campus, even students seemed uncertain. When someone described Alex as a white male, Macone joked, “So your mascot is your core demographic: white male, plays lacrosse, working at his dad’s bank after college.”

Tommy Ryman, a semifinalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing performed next. His more  neurotic persona, with hipster-chic glasses and a proclivity for talking fast, invites Woody Allen comparisons. Ryman started with a string of winning jokes.  In a classic one-liner, he said he likes to go to the park dressed up in a Little League outfit and complain that his dad never picked him up.  Ryman also said that his lava lamp erupted and killed his hamsters in a “Pompeii-like situation.” 

His routine became stronger as he launched into personal stories.  For example, he shared how he proposed to his wife while playing a game of Hangman in the sand on a beach, and accidentally misspelling “Will you marry me?”  An unexpected theme of Ryman’s routine was his girlfriend’s relationship with animals. He recounted the way she dressed their dog in a costume as well as her attempts to find a proper burial for her dead rat.  Other anecdotes ranged from Ryman’s breaking a clarinet in half in his youth to his bringing cinnamon rolls rather than dinner rolls to Thanksgiving dinner. Ryman was fast on his feet for the entirety of the performance.  When a student mentioned their major was computer science, he pounced with the line, “like The Sims?”

Ryman also interacted a lot with the audience, asking for instance if students had ever bought something on Craigslist, and received some interesting answers.  One girl proclaimed that she had bought a motorcycle to which Ryman proclaimed, “I did not expect that!”  He noted that the audience members, who had remained in small numbers since Macone exited the stage, must have been procrastinating for finals. 

Neither comedian was too crass during his routine; in fact, Macone and Ryman were practically family-friendly. Both men touched on the same subjects almost every other comedian at Hamilton does, such as its small size and place in the middle of nowhere (Macone referred to Hamilton as “Lord of the Flies: the College Years”). However, neither comedian went for the easy and lazy target of the College’s streaking team.  Despite touches of familiarity, CAB’s small event of the semester was a pleasant way to spend a Saturday night before diving back into finals work.

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