By Miles Grovic
For The Diamondback
University of Maryland student comedians brought laughter to the audience Tuesday night at the Student Entertainment Events’ annual comedy competition in Stamp Student Union.
Hysterics, a campus standup comedy group for underrepresented genders, swept the competition.
Caleigh Larkin, a junior criminology and criminal justice major, took home the event’s grand prize, a brand new iPad, and runner up Aileen Foley, a junior computer science and studio art major, won two tickets to any upcoming SEE event.
“We thought this would be a good opportunity to showcase the Hysterics as a group and get our name back out there,” Larkin said. “We accomplished that tonight.”
While the group was excited to win the grand prize, they also expressed how excited they were to show what Hysterics brings to the comedy community.
“The purpose of the club is to give a space for people who don’t normally get a voice in comedy because it’s usually dominated by a lot of men and sexism,” Larkin said.
Larkin has been practicing stand-up professionally for about two years, drawing much of their content from everyday life.
“You just start looking for the humor in your everyday life and how you can twist that and make jokes out of it,” Larkin said.
Foley agreed, explaining she often stays in uncomfortable situations “for the bit,” as a way to develop material to later use in a routine.
During the show Larkin unveiled their set consisting of jokes revolving around biting, serial killer documentaries and creating capitalism in elementary school. The set seemed like a fan favorite.
Members of Punchbowl and Maryland Night Live also participated in the competition.
Many performances throughout the night touched on sensitive subjects, including anti-semitism, school shootings, child predators and more. But this wasn’t an issue for Nathan Steighner, SEE’s comedy director and a junior sociology major.
He said as long as the comedians followed the student code of conduct and anti-discrimination policies, the sets are appropriate.
“I’m really happy that they felt comfortable enough to make such funny jokes,” Steighner said.
Steighner believes his successor will hold the event next year because of its affordability and the opportunity it presents to comics around the university.
“It’s a very nice way to kind of showcase student performers and how funny they really are,” Steighner said.