Colin Jost, accompanied by opening acts and fellow “Saturday Night Live” performers Molly Kearney and Marcello Hernández, performed a sold-out comedy show in Miami University’s Millett Hall on Saturday, Oct. 7. The event was run by Miami Activities and Programming (MAP), and tickets sold for $50 each.
The event was originally scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m., but as a result of delays caused by traffic and parking from the football game against Bowling Green State University earlier in the afternoon, the first opener didn’t take the stage until roughly 9:10 p.m.
As she waited for the evening to start, Debra Golden, the mother of first-year Miami student Caitlyn Golden, spoke about parent’s weekend and Colin Jost.
“Everything that Miami has done has been very pleasurable … Everyone is very friendly and helpful,” Golden said. “Regarding Colin, we are from Staten Island … when we heard that [he was coming], we were like, ‘We have to go.’ So hopefully, he’ll say to us, ‘Is anyone from Staten Island?’ and we’ll do a full scream.”
Kearney, the first opener, joined the “Saturday Night Live” cast in 2022. Their comedy set included jokes about wearing their “fancy clothes” when visiting Miami while studying theater at the University of Dayton and what it means to be a lesbian and non-binary in today’s social and political climate.
Kearney had a tough crowd to open for — people that had been waiting for 40 minutes and didn’t know there would be openers in the first place. Kearney also seemed nervous, fidgeting with their cap and occasionally stumbling over the phrasing of their sentences. Despite this, they got the crowd excited and then passed off the microphone to Hernández after a successful 15 minute set.
Hernández came out swinging with jokes about how Miami University is the “fake” Miami, compared to his hometown of Miami, Florida.
“Are there any Latinos in here?” Hernández asked the audience, waiting for a reaction. “That's how I know this is the fake Miami, cause there's like, seven Latinos in here.”
He didn’t pull any punches during his set, showing that he’s willing and able to make anything into a joke: going to college in Cleveland, moving back in with his mom during the COVID-19 pandemic and why he thinks white people are more likely to kill their families than people of color.
Hernández’s performance proved himself as a rising star on “Saturday Night Live,” having also just finished his first season on the show, but also more broadly in comedy. His set had a balance of meaningful commentary, energy and hilarity that a lot of newer comedians struggle to find.
At around 9:50 p.m, Colin Jost finally started his set.
There was a lot of anticipation at that point in the night, as his set occurred almost an hour and a half after the event’s original start time. This buildup, combined with the stellar performances from his openers, made Jost’s performance fall a little bit flat.
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There were some funny moments — Jost joked about the writer’s strike and a sign that his “Weekend Update” co-host Michael Che wanted him to make that read, “Write Power.” He also told a long, drawn-out story about getting high and buying a rotisserie chicken, 24 Chewy granola bars and two brownies, and described an epiphany he had while rewatching “Beauty and the Beast” that Mrs. Potts is comparable to Ghislaine Maxwell.
However, Jost had more quips that opted for relatability and, consequently, ended up lacking originality or compelling delivery. These included jokes about his first-year dorm experience (where he conveniently left out that he went to Harvard), a Spirit Airlines trash-talk that made it clear he had never been on a budget airline and jokes about his sex life that felt more like bragging about being married to actress Scarlett Johansson.
“My aunt is like, ‘But what if I get canceled?’ I think you’re OK,” Jost said, lamenting how nobody else in the audience had it as rough as he did because they didn’t have to worry about cancel culture.
The show did get funnier toward the end when Jost brought Kearney and Hernández back out for a Q&A session.
“Does Michael Che actually write your racist jokes?” a student asked, referring to the “Joke Swap” segment of “Weekend Update” on “Saturday Night Live.”
“No! He hires white people to do it,” Jost shot back.
The Q&A session at the end brought back what the “Saturday Night Live” cast does best — interact with each other — and the evening was better off for it.