3:06 p.m., Oct. 22, 2010----Students and their parents gathered in the University of Delaware's Bob Carpenter Center on Friday, Oct. 15, for a fun-filled night of comedic entertainment from Academy Award winner Steven Wright and Saturday Night Live writer and performer Seth Meyers as a part of Parents and Family Weekend 2010.
Meyers kicked off the show with an upbeat and lively performance using humor that related to a college student's daily life. As he delivered jokes about T9 settings on phones and the adventures of taking pictures using digital cameras, Meyers' comedic timing and delivery provided the audience with plenty of laughs about the pitfalls of college life.
Meyers, who graduated from Northwestern University, understands the challenges associated a collegiate lifestyle. He described one such challenge when he said that he had difficulty “getting to class on time” and would advise UD students to “get an alarm clock.”
When asked the difference between performing on stage and performing on Saturday Night Live, Meyers said that on stage performances give him a better “one-on-one connection” with the audience. He exemplified this opinion during his performance when he had an unexpectedly long discussion with an audience member who was describing how she met her boyfriend; however, he played it off with funny lines and body language that incorporated it into his overall routine.
Although Meyers possesses a talent for impersonating famous people such as John Kerry, Anderson Cooper and Prince Charles as a part of skits on Saturday Night Live, “I prefer to be Seth Meyers and sit behind a desk,” he said in reference to his current position as host of the SNL Weekend Update and head writer for the show.
Steven Wright took the stage following Meyers and, from the first word he spoke, a monotone “thanks” in response to the resounding applause, it became evident that his comedic style was in sharp contrast to that of Meyers.
Wright's humor uses a slow paced, monotone voice for his comedic routine in which he incorporates funny scenarios, random jokes, and songs.
Wright, who got his start by appearing on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, never thought of his voice as being a part of a specific comedic style.
“I never thought that I sounded different. This is just my natural voice. It's how I talk,” he said.
After Johnny Carson, Wright's career began to grow. He received a Grammy Award for best comedy album for I Have a Pony, for which he wrote the sequel, I Still Have a Pony, and was featured in several films including Reservoir Dogs, Natural Born Killers, Desperately Seeking Susan, and the film he co-wrote, The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, which earned him an Academy Award.
When asked what advice he would give to UD students, he responded, “If you want to do something, you should go after it because if you don't, you will always wonder what might've happened if you had.”
Article by Kristin Zinsmeister
Photos by Duane Perry