Stand-Up at Home: Stove’s Comedy Club’s First Livestream of Fall 2020



Stove’s Cabin Crew continued their run of successful, virtual performances following last semester’s “Zoomprov” and “End of Semester” shows.


Have you been bored at home recently? Do you ever mindlessly scroll through social media after hours of mentally draining Zoom lectures? Yeah, me too. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a group of students dedicated to bringing entertainment to the entire student body, no matter where in the world they’ve been slowly regressing into social hermetism? Guess what — there is.

On Sept. 18, Lincoln Center’s Stove’s Comedy Club held their first virtual event of the semester — Stove’s Virtual Stand Up Show. Having proved the competence of a virtual platform for comedy in the previous obstructed semester’s Zoomprov and End of Semester shows, Stove’s is determined to continue their practices of jubilance-spreading via YouTube livestream during this strange time. 

The club’s President Natalie Grammer, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’21, spoke about the transition to a fully online platform, noting that “last semester we didn’t really have a choice but to do a digital end of semester show. It was either do that, or throw out all the work we had been doing.” In regards to this semester, “the board made the choice to go completely online for this fall, knowing that all the shows would be virtual ahead of time. We had to adapt improv and sketches before, and the stand-up we did was just one-liners.” For this specific show, the main concern was, “how do we make a show that people want to sit through; hearing people laugh being a very important part about doing standup.”

Hosted by characters Lil Newton, embodied by Stove’s Satire Liaison Charlie Friedlander, FCLC ’22; and Pythagoras, reincarnated as the club’s secretary David Fresolone, FCLC ’22, the event was carried just like any stand-up show, except everyone was sitting. Comedians took the spotlight, i.e. the Zoom speaker’s view window, for an allotted amount of time to share what makes them laugh. 

Rife with magnetic and acute puns, Lil Newton and Pythagoras, accompanied by their stuffed co-hosts “Even Lil’er Newton” and “Aristophanes,” respectively, introduced the first performer, Stefan Valenti, FCLC ’22.

In a casual yet layered set of Gen Z’s favorite kind of comedy — self-deprecation — Valenti managed to insert a few subtle brags about how great his social life has been lately before returning to anecdotes of hereditarily indoctrinated existential dread. His bit was effortless and universal, a great way to start the show. 

Up next was Stove’s Treasurer Casey Brennan, FCLC ’21, whom I had the opportunity to speak with after the show. Her set was seamlessly fluid, sliding from one bit to the next during breaks for chortles. She hit topics like inadequet sex education and anti-social tendencies, which we can all relate to. My favorite line: “Speaking of genitals, there was a fire in my apartment last year.” 

Brennan was also in charge of the stream. She mentioned that, compared to last semester’s first virtual event, “It’s a lot easier now, knowing what we’re doing.” The show was streamed using StreamLabs, an open broadcast software that allowed for a background display and easy audio/visual broadcasting. In the past, they had streamed to Twitch simultaneously but decided to keep this event contained to YouTube. Although the event was a success, she notes that in-person stand-up is far superior: “I think the nature of stand-up is so based on being live and so based on audience reaction that it’s hard to just do it over Zoom.”

After Brennan, Stove’s Vice President Julianne Holmquist, FCLC ’21, performed a bit about the backwardness of the world right now for “C-plot” people and “consumption girls” amid a pandemic. Then newcomer Juliana Castello, FCLC ’24, jested with jousting and poked fun at the relatable parental relationship in quarantine, while her parents watched from the other room. 

Isabella Gonzalez, FCLC ’23, gave a hilarious and fast-paced set involving a glitter-filled “Euphoria” phase, after which Sajani Patel, FCLC ’22, gave a critical set about corporate tokenism and performative diversification. 

Rob MacPherson, FCLC ’21, jabbed Aramark and his love for “Temperature” by Sean Paul; Marielle Sarmiento, FCLC ’21 and managing editor at The Observer, touched on bullying and getting bullied; Robert Sundstrom, FCLC ’22, offered an exciting set about male privilege; and Natalie Grammer, FCLC ’21, killed me with possibly my favorite quote from the entire event: “I doubted myself so much, I lost the ability to perceive my corporeal form.”

The live performance is available on Stove’s YouTube account

Their next virtual event will be their highly acclaimed Improv Show on Oct. 16.