It was a night of enjoyment and countless laughs as comedian and actor Jon Rudnitsky lit up the Maintenance Shop stage this past Thursday for Student Union Board Comedy night.
Rudnitsky is best known for being a cast member on the 41st season of “Saturday Night Live,” as well as starring alongside George Clooney in Hulu’s “Catch-22” miniseries. Rudnitsky has also been seen on the big screen, recently leading in the 2017 film “Home Again” with Reese Witherspoon and Nat Wolff.
Preceding Rudnitsky’s performance was Iowa State student Rob Reinhard. Reinhard successfully warmed up the audience with his subtle, yet kind of dark jokes. While only performing for a few minutes, Reinhard was able to get lots of laughs from the audience.
Following this, Rudnitsky took to stage, immediately making the crowd roar as he acted out the lyrics to Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next”. The comedian then made sure to get lots of Iowa State jokes in, such as how a cardinal would be the first casualty of a cyclone, and constantly referencing the Panda Express in the Memorial Union.
The show included many of Rudnitsky’s most popular bits and style, such as his Dirty Dancing audition from "Saturday Night Live" and his quarterback impression as seen on "CONAN."
Rudnitsky’s show stood out due to its irregularity in comparison to a standard stand-up show, as the comedian created a deep sense of intimacy amongst everyone in the room. Throughout the show, he would call out random members of the audience and joke around with them. This included creating a fake “relationship” with an individual in the crowd, the hierarchy of different engineering students, and asking me during varying points of the show if I was on adderall due to my posture and eye contact.
The unique dynamic of Rudnitsky’s set made him a huge success with the audience, with viewers constantly roaring in laughter, knee-slaps and clapping. There was never a silent moment among the crowd as they enjoyed his nontraditional impressions, "Saturday Night Live" stories and nonstop Iowa State jokes. By the end of the show, I found my stomach hurting from the amount of laughing I did throughout the show, a feat that does not happen often.
Previously performing at Iowa State in 2016, Rudnitsky said he enjoys coming here because, “There’s smart crowds, you know the students are sharp, they’re a blast to perform for! Also, the venue is really cool.”
The comedian also stated, “It was a really fun show! I didn’t want to get off stage!” While many were sad the show eventually had to come to an end, Rudnitsky did stay around the M-shop to chat with everyone after.
Although it was a free event, Rudnitsky’s act was of such high caliber and entertainment that any priced ticket would be worth it. The comedian joked about coming back for years to come, and if so, it is a show not to be missed.
The next SUB Comedy Night event is on October 17th show with comedian and writer Rae Sanni, with another following on November 14th.