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Comedians for a Cause


By Evan M. Vittor, Crimson Staff Writer

Judah Friedlander

NBC’s “30 Rock”

RR: What’s this new show “30 Rock” you’re in about?

JF: It’s about the behind the scenes of an SNL type show.

RR: What’s your role?

JF: I play a guy named Frank who is a kind of white trashy writer on the show.

RR: Doesn’t NBC have another show premiering this fall about SNL? Do they really need two?

JF: Well if you watch them they’re nothing alike

RR: Is Jeff Zucker ’86 getting desperate?

JF: Who knows man. I don’t know what he thinks.

RR: Why are you coming to Harvard to do this show?

JF: I want to give people something else to do besides seeing all the boat races you have going on…Plus there are a lot of hot chicks at Harvard, let’s face it.

RR: Where do I find these hot chicks?

JF: Oh dude, it’s all over the internet. Everybody knows.—that’s a vintage one.

RR: So you already did this once…I guess you didn’t suck enough to not get invited back?

JF: I guess not. I’m going to do the exact same material word for word. I don’t want any surprises.

RR: And you’re not getting paid…

JF: I normally charge 50 grand for charity shows, but I cut it to 30 for this. I made 10 million last year just doing charity events.

Tim Young

Stand-up comedian

RR: So this is supposed to be a funny interview, and you’re a comedian so I have high hopes…

TY: Uh oh…Comedians are notoriously funny off stage.

RR: And you do mostly stand up?

TY: Yeah that is my job I guess. It’s a good job.

RR: Comedians are notoriously dark, sick and depraved people. Are you?

TY: I’ll should take the fifth on that one, Jesus Christ. The comedian life lends itself to depravity, but I don’t.

RR: Larry David once said that if he had ever been successful with women, he wouldn’t have been funny. How’s your sex life?

TY: That’s gotta be true for every comedian I think. But you could take out women and substitute another word. People initially get into stand up because there is some kind of neurosis that gets us up there.

RR: Did you do “Comedy for a Cause” last year?

TY: I tried to do it last year and then I…I don’t know what happened last year so I’m really glad they asked me to perform again.

RR: Why do you prefer college campuses?

TY: College students have a certain energy that doesn’t happen anywhere else. It’s called being drunk…no that happens everywhere. There’s a certain unjaded optimism.

RR: Conan O’Brien graduated from Harvard in 1985…what are your thoughts on him?

TY: Conan is a genius in what he does. And especially the way he did it. He wouldn’t have gotten in any other way than as a writer—he’s just too weird. And he’s from Harvard so there’s hope for you.

Tom Shillue

Stand-up comedian

RR: Why did you become a stand-up comic?

TS: I didn’t want to be. It was actually thrust upon me because people would laugh at me unexpectedly. I figured if nobody takes me seriously in life I might as well just switch professions.

RR: What did you do before?

TS: I was helping my dad run an ice cream store in Randolph Massachusetts. It’s on the blue collar side of Braintree.

RR: I don’t think Harvard students go there much.

TS: It’s actually where Dunkin Donuts University is located. I know that’s a big competitor of Harvard.

RR: What’s your impression of Harvard students?

TS: They are, I assume, intelligent. Communists. And yet well off.

RR: Doesn’t every comedian talk about how depressing their life is?

TS: Yes, but my life has been wonderful. That’s how different I am. I am not the typical comedian. I suffer from high self-esteem.

RR: You worked in an ice cream store and you suffered from high self-esteem.

TS: Yes, because I thought it was great when I was working at this poor man’s Dairy Queen.

RR: How can Harvard students boost their self-esteem?

TS: I’m not sure what we can do for these guys because the children of privilege generally are miserable and there is not much you can do about it…I’ve got nowhere to go but up. Where do you go from Harvard except down?

RR: Goldman Sachs?

TS: But if you don’t go to Goldman Sachs then where are you? It’s like there is not that much room to go up from there.

Paul Mecurio

Writer for the Daily Show

RR: Harvard students love the Daily Show. You write for the Daily Show. Should they be thanking you?

PM: Absolutely, it’s all me. I did everything. I’m the brains behind it.

RR: Are you concerned that many college students now get their news primarily from The Daily Show?

PM: I think they should get all their news from us and that Jon [Stewart] should be elected president and Stephen Colbert Vice President. But I should tell you that Jon is an alcoholic and Stephen is a crack addict.

RR: What do you think about Katie Couric on the Nightly News?

PM: She’s short. She’s got nice legs. I can’t wait until she starts doing cooking segments on the evening news. That and some insightful segments on colon cancer while people are eating dinner. I think we need to see more of her colon.

RR: Why are you coming to Harvard to do this show?

PM: I want to challenge Bono for the Nobel peace prize. I don’t really care about the cause I just care about enough people knowing I’m doing stuff for causes.

RR: What do you think about Harvard students?

PM: Some of my friends are Harvard students. I think they are people who are in touch with the common. I think they never put on any airs. I think they are a grassroots kind of people who will go on to rule the world.

RR: Who’s your favorite comedian of all time?

PM: Me.

RR: Least favorite?

PM: Me. I hate myself.

RR: Why did you become a comedian?

PM: To meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you. I heard you are the Charlie Rose of The Crimson.

RR: I’m the Roving Reporter—I’m kind of a big deal.

PM: In terms of your sexual prowess or your ability to play foosball while drunk?

RR: What do you think about Larry Summers getting the axe?

PM: I was writing in my courage journal one day that I have a crush on Larry. There, you got it out of me. You’re incredible the way you probe.

RR: Are you concerned about the women at Harvard?

PM: They’re not hairy enough.

RR: The Dean of the College has a beard.

PM: Well she’s…wonderful.

RR: Sorry, the Dean is a man. But he does enjoy reading Luna Bar wrappers.

PM: Luna bars are known to give somebody an incredible desire to have a sex change, and I expect you to crack that story young man.

RR: So you used to work in i-banking—any advice for Harvard students currently doing recruiting?

PM: Go into investment banking and then leave it all to be a comedian who needs the love and security of others because his mother didn’t hug him enough. And always wear a condom when swimming. You never know.

RR: They actually give out condoms for free here.

PM: Is that because you’re there and you’re such a stud?

RR: Absolutely.

PM: Are pregnancies down because of the free condoms?

RR: Well I haven’t gotten anybody pregnant. On that note, I think this interview is complete.

PM: Just remember when you sell out you will have crushed all your dreams and hopes.

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