A successful comedy routine demands a confident performer, and “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL”) star Mikey Day and opener, fellow “SNL” writer, Streeter Seidell certainly delivered in that regard. On April 14, the two comedians drew vigorous laughter from the seats of Goodrich C. White Hall’s usually placid lecture hall, room 208, with their entertaining anecdote-based routines.
The 39-year-old comedian is best known for his regular appearances on “SNL” as a recurring cast member and writer. To conclude Dooley’s Week, Day took the stage in White Hall and delivered an untraditional stand-up routine. Day’s choice to heavily incorporate personal stories, most of which were embarrassing childhood memories, into his routine brought intimacy to his comedy. Additionally, he provided the students with a short list of his rejected “SNL” pitches, including an ad for “Just the Dust” Cheetos and a skit following Professor Snape’s transition into an elementary school teacher after being fired from Hogwarts. Day also displayed a series of prank text messages that he sent from random numbers to his father, whose lack of technological savvy seemed to remind much of the audience of their own bumbling relatives.
Although his stories were amusing, Day seemed a bit uncomfortable with the show’s stand-up format; he is, after all, more accustomed to sketch-based comedy. Stand-up comics typically segue seamlessly from one topic to another, which Day struggled a bit with. Still, some of the funniest moments of the night were the products of Day’s improvisation. One such moment was when his microphone died halfway through the routine and he jokingly heckled the student who came to fix it. Day’s other strong suit was his impressions, which proved essential to his narratives. My favorite impression was of his drug-crazed college hallmate Morgan who, as Day recounted, once showed up to his door wearing nothing but a robe and a chicken mask.
For one of his stories, Day brought Anna Voss (22C) onstage to read the part of a girl he called in seventh grade to ask to a movie. Voss said that she has been a fan of “SNL” since she was a child, so performing alongside Day was like a dream come true.
“I’m a huge fan of Mikey Day, and I love comedy in general, so I was really excited about the show,” Voss said. “It’s kind of a running joke with my friends that I’m going to be on ‘SNL’ one day, and so it was just really fun to be able to perform with somebody actually on ‘SNL.’”
Though “SNL” isn’t shy about its anti-Trump humor, Day kept things mostly apolitical during the show. While I would have liked to hear his takes on some contemporary social issues, the absence of political commentary kept the show light.
Seidell, who opened the show, was just as delightful, giving a more conventional but equally funny performance. His jokes spanned a wide range of topics, from being mad about missing the first episode of “Game of Thrones” season 8 because of his performance to feeling ugly in comparison to Korean boy band BTS, who recently performed on “SNL.” Seidell also reminisced about his college experiences at Fordham University (N.Y.), which, like Day’s, included a drug-addicted roommate who once drank a family-sized bottle of Robitussin and passed out for two days straight.
Part of what made both performances successful was that the comedians seemed to know their audience. By focusing heavily on stories from childhood and school, Day and Seidell were able to relate to the crowd. Rather than risk isolating some of their viewers, the two chose topics that everyone in the crowd could empathize with.
Day’s and Seidell’s performances were an excellent way to close out Dooley’s Week, as both comedians brought distinct and engaging flavors of comedy to their routines. While neither offered much in the way of sociopolitical commentary, their highly amusing anecdotes kept things personal and charming. Hopefully Emory gets another A-lister like Day for next year’s comedy show, because he definitely set a high standard.