August 20, 2019 | 81° F

Comedians perform at RUPA's Knight of Comedy

Photo by Naaz Modan |

Thomas Middleditch, one of the stars of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” entertains the audience at the Rutgers University Programming Association’s “Silicon Valley: A Knight of Comedy” Thursday night at the Livingston Student Center. 

There is no better way to find a lasting relationship than catcalling, said Nick Turner, a stand-up comedian. 

“No, of course not,” said Turner, who has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. “Whenever I see a man catcalling a woman, I will immediately start catcalling that man."

Turner opened for Kumail Nanjiani and Thomas Middleditch, stars of the HBO show “Silicon Valley” at "Silicon Valley: A Knight of Comedy," an event last night sponsored by the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) in the Livingston Student Center.

Around 400 students filed in a line outside the doors of the Livingston Hall to watch the RUPA-sponsored event, said RUPA's Director of Outreach Ryan Griffith. 

Turner, who has "seen almost every student center there is to see," said the Livingston Student Center is without a doubt “the single greatest student center on God’s green earth.”

He spoke about everything from his college experience and smoking to catcalling and politics.

Turner, who recently quit smoking cigarettes, encouraged the student audience to all pick up the habit.

“If you’re 18, 19 or 20, get your cigarettes out," he said. "That shit will heal. Colleges do like me coming here … also drop out (of college). It’s fine.”

Middleditch was the second performer of the night. 

He played a game of matchmaker by picking one male and one female from the audience. 

"Don't worry, there's no obligation to go on any dates," he said. 

Nanjiani brought the night to a close. In addition to starring on Silicon Valley, Najiani also appears on the show "Portlandia" and has a program on Comedy Central called "The Meltdown."

He spoke about how his parents, who still have hopes of him becoming a doctor, show support for his comedy career. After his hour-long comedy special aired on television last year, Nanjiani’s father sent his support through a three word text, which Nanjiani read aloud.

“Saw your program,” Nanjiani said. “That’s the whole text, no period … I was like, ‘Did my dad die while texting me?”

A few weeks later, Nanjiani said the plot thickened. As he was scrolling through reviews on Amazon for his stand-up special, he spotted a 5-star review from his mother, which he said sounded more like a 3-star review.

“I watched the DVD and could not stop laughing. None of the jokes could be called stale,” he said, reciting his mother’s critique. “…None of the jokes could be called stale, but he’s not a doctor.”

In step with Middleditch, Najiani engaged the audience with a game he created called “Great Piece of Literature or Tweet?” 

For the game, Nanjiani read a quote to a member of the audience and the student had to determine whether the quote was a tweet or from a famous novel.

Among the quotes Nanjiani read were "Surrounded by MILFS at Taco Bell" and "How can mirrors be real if our eyes are not real?" 

"I mean, it's a good question," he said. "How can mirrors be real if our eyes are not real? I'm having a hard time accepting the premise.

Neal Kantharia, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore, said he bought tickets to the show because Nanjiani is his favorite character on "Silicon Valley." He enjoyed seeing the genuine personality behind Middleditch and Nanjiani, which is different from the characters they play on HBO.

“I enjoyed how both comedians were not afraid to interact with the audience, which made the show that much more engaging and hilarious,” he said.

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