Ceisler Amuses Crowd of 400 At Free Council Comedy Show

Joking about lawyers and overweight Harvard students, comedian Rich Ceisler entertained about 400 Harvard students at a free Undergraduate Council comedy show last night.

The hour-long show, financed entirely by the council, filled Science Center D to capacity. Students crowded the aisles and spilled out the back of the theater, giving new meaning to the phrase "stand-up comedy."

"This is more crowded than an E.O. Wilson lecture," said Michael P. Beys '94.

Because there were only 200 seats in the theater, some students were pressed against the back walls and missed many of the visual jokes.

"We didn't turn anyone away, but a handful of people found it too crowded and left," said Beys.


"I don't think people were expecting it to be this much of a success," said audience member Phoebe A. Cushman '95. "I thought people would just trickle in and trickle out."

Advertising for the show did not begin until Tuesday, and many of those attending said they had heard by word of mouth.

But to get good seats, students said they had to get to the Science Center up to twenty minutes before the show started. Hank S. Chien '96 said he came ten minutes early to get a seat.

"This is the first real service that the U.C. has provided," he said.

Ceisler told very few one-liners in his act, instead preferring to tell jokes with longer set-ups to a punch line. His strategy seemed to work well with the audience.

"I thought it was very good," said Houman Jauedan '95. "I saw some of the cheesy posters advertising the show up in my house."

Beys said the council had publicized the event at tables in dining halls, at registration and through a door-dropped letter yesterday morning.

"This represents a new approach to publicizing events," said Beys. "We had a lessons-of-De-La-Soul media blitz," said Beys. Last spring, the council lost $10,000 on a De La Soul concert Beys helped organize.

To avoid the problem of last-minute publicity in the future--which of course wasn't so problematic this time--the council is considering an amendment that would mandate three weeks of advance publicity for council events, Beys said