SNL comedian gives big crowd big laughs

Coming fresh off a successful All-American Rejects concert, SLU’s Student Activities Board (SAB) ended the year with a night of comedy. Vanessa Bayer, now in her third season as a full-time cast member on Saturday Night Live, came to SLU last Sunday to fill the CGC’s auditorium for a night of stand-up comedy.

As the night’s more than 450 attendants filed in, in a line that was, at times, out the building’s front doors, SLU’s own premiere comedy group, the SLU League of Laughter (LOL), warmed the crowd up with some of their trademark short-form improv games.  After 20 minutes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” style games, which featured an Old West-style confrontation at the Library Annex and a man who could only speak in verbs, the guest of the night came on for an hour of stand-up.

Not afraid to lean on the roles that have brought her fame on NBC every Saturday night, Bayer’s act featured her famous Miley Cyrus impersonation – “Like, what even is a Billiken anyways?” – as well as several of the accents that have made her one of the cast’s stronger character actors.

Bayer also shared a clip from her web series, “Sound Advice,” where she conducted a hilariously awkward interview with rapper Drake. “I’m just wondering if you want to choose a name that’s a little more hip-hop or rap,” Bayer suggested. “Like Graham (Drake’s last name) Cracka? … What about Drake Time? Like Break Time?”

She then encouraged him to join J-Date and ended the interview, upon learning that he had 14 million Twitter followers, sarcastically, adding “And you made up YOLO, right?”

The night also showed, though, that celebrities are not perfect human beings.  Around two minutes into her act, Bayer asked for the one remaining spotlight to be turned off, not realizing until the end of her show that she could not be seen by people seated towards the back. A few of her jokes also hit on topics that may not always be well received in private, Jesuit institutions, such as abortion, and comments on racial issues were also met by larger degrees of silence.

However, while not every joke resulted in gut-busting laughter, a varied and entertaining set by Bayer provided laughs for all, and those lucky enough to make the meet and greet, or  randomly run into Bayer in the hallways after the show, had the chance to take a picture with her. In the end, Sunday’s large attendance and A-list guest hopefully set the stage for many premiere comedians to visit SLU in the future.