Former SNL star Pharoah, two others to perform at CMU


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Comedian Michael Blackson emotes while performing his set during the Back to School Comedy Jam on Thursday, Sept. 8, in McGuirk Arena.

Hundreds of students lined up outside McGuirk Arena with anticipation even before the doors opened for Program Board's Back to School Comedy Jam.

Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jay Pharoah, Michael Blackson and D.C. Young Fly, both of "Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'n Out," performed Thursday.

The show was free to students. 

"I think it's amazing that shows like this are offered for free to students. It gives us all something fun to do at night," sophomore Brooke Rose said. "Pharoah was my personal favorite. He was relatable and the whole crowd seemed to take an instant liking to him."

Working to engage the crowd prior to the performances was "DJ Buba", who played top rap and hip-hop songs throughout the arena.

Freshman Jordan Leach said the music created an exciting environment. 

"I feel like this is going to be one extreme or the other — either extremely funny or not (funny at all)," Leach said before the show.

DC Young Fly made jokes about his personal life challenges. His loud and sexualized comedy style was similar to his on "Nick Cannon's Wild n' Out."

Blackson followed the performance, entering the stage in a yellow suit. Blackson is the self-dubbed "African King of Comedy" and has been featured on television series like "30 Rock." At the end of his performance, he recreated an African relief commercial to Sarah McLachan's "Arms of an Angel." He then took his shirt off, snatched a viewer's purse and commented on a pack of contraceptives.

Senior Nicole Voisard said the diversity and insight of the comedians helped make the show more interesting.

"I love comedy shows and this is a really cool thing to do with my roommates on a night that would be [otherwise] just another night," Voisard said.

The show's headliner, Pharoah, has been featured on six seasons of "SNL" and is known for impressions of rapper Jay-Z and President Barack Obama.

Common themes of the performers included sexual references, alcohol and various drug use, pop culture, politics and race.

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About Samantha Shriber

Samantha Shriber is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life and is a Saint Clair Shores ...

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