Despite concerns due to a Village-wide power outage reportedly caused by a raccoon, members of stand-up comedy group Two Drink Minimum were able to perform to a packed crowd in Peirce Pub last Friday night without delay.
“I didn’t have to do any homework,” Adam Berndt ’17 said of the power outage while opening the show, “So let’s give that raccoon a round of applause.”
Berndt, who has been a member of the group since his first year, was the first performer of the night. He covered topics ranging from cartoons and growing up with siblings to being a neuroscience major, commenting that he thinks people are often surprised to hear that he is a neuroscience major because he is black.
Berndt also brought up the film, Hidden Figures, which garnered large applause from the audience. “Hollywood made a movie about black women who were good with numbers,” he said, “and white people were fascinated.”
The performers brought their own brand of humor to subjects relatable to the college students filling Peirce Pub: Many riffed on Spring Break and being a student at Kenyon.
This was the last Two Drink show for the four seniors in the group, and they brought their best work to the table. One highlight of the night was from Ben Fisher ’17 — a new member of the group; Friday’s performance was his first and last. Fisher spent much of his stage time talking honestly about struggles he faces as a gay man but kept the set light and charming.
“What they don’t tell you about coming out is that it’s a constant thing,” he said. “I have to come out at every single Panera I go to.”
The final two performances of the night came from Kyra Baldwin ’17 and Ethan Fuirst ’17. Baldwin surprised the audience with a PowerPoint presentation that included hilariously cheesy graphics, references to American Girl and pictures of Baldwin from her childhood. She dubbed the performance her “comedy senior thesis” and delivered an overall hilarious and well timed set.
Fuirst took a more direct approach to his set, telling funny stories from his life, poking fun at himself and delivering a flawless impression of Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. Like many of the other students performing that night, Fuirst interacted with the audience, this time addressing a group of students in the back of the room who had caused a few minor disturbances throughout the night.
“I know the football team is here today,” he said, “and to you guys I say, ‘hard pass.’”
Like Fuirst, each member of Two Drink was able to find a balance between making jokes at the expense of others and actually offending anybody. A joke by Christian Janssen ’18 that at first appeared to be set up as an offensive suicide joke turned into a clever romp about autoerotic asphyxiation.
The group struggled with ending their sets and introducing the next act. Often, a performer had to state outright to the audience that his or her set was finished and the next act could come up. This disrupted the flow of the show a bit, but each subsequent comedian was able to bring the crowd’s energy up again rather quickly.
Ending the set was not a problem for Fuirst, who concluded his set and the show with the same story about his grandmother faking her own death to avoid a woman she hates that he told during his first Two Drink performance at Kenyon. The move was a sentimental one, as Fuirst has been a member of Two Drink Minimum for all of his four years at Kenyon, and the audience reacted with loud applause that continued through the bows.