September 19, 2019 | 48° F

‘Girl Code’ artist performs stand-up comedy show

Photo by Michelle Klejmont |

Students filled the Multipurpose Room at the Rutgers Student

Center on the College Avenue campus yesterday to watch

comedians Nicole Byer and Emily Heller.

Nicole Byer of MTV’s “Girl Code” spoke last night about relationships, racial stereotypes and weight loss, shedding a comedic light on these common themes of womanhood, marking her fourth stand-up comedy performance.

“Girl Code” is a female-driven comedy series, which brings viewers a series of over-the-top tips to open a dialogue about life as a woman, according to MTV’s website. The series features female stand-up comics, actresses and musicians to talk about womanhood.

Byer visited Rutgers University as part of “An Evening with Nicole Byer,” which was hosted by the Rutgers University Programming Association last night in the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus.

Nearly an hour before the event, the room was filled to capacity with students awaiting the performance.

Alice Wetterlund, another comedian on “Girl Code,” originally planned to perform with Byer, but was replaced by stand-up comedian Emily Heller because Wetterlund booked a second job.

Heller, who has appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and Comedy Central, began performing impressions of her mother and making jokes about her home life as a child.

Heller gradually got her start in comedy by taking a stand-up class in college and later participating in local open-mic nights.

At the age of 11, she asked her father what was in the scrambled eggs he made for breakfast. When he told her oregano, she took a small tub of oregano, taped a string to it and wore it as a necklace.

“I was never bullied in school,” Heller said. “The cool kids wrote backhanded comments in my yearbook like ‘I just love how you don’t care what anybody thinks about you,’” she said.

Heller, who recently moved to New York, said it has been a tough transition.

“I found myself saying ‘gee, nobody spit on me today.’”

Julia Taylor, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences first-year student, said she found out about the comedy performance during a Rutgers University Programming Association-sponsored ice-skating event in the Douglass Campus Center.

“I watch ‘Girl Code’ all the time, and I know Nicole Byer will say a lot of hilarious things,” she said. “I love when she makes jokes about her personal life.”

Paige Grecco, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences first-year student, said she found out about the event through RUPA’s Facebook announcements.

“I was definitely upset that Alice Wetterlund wouldn’t be at the show, but I know it’ll still be great,” she said.

Grecco said her favorite recurring joke from Byer is her “is that weird?” segment, where she details something strange that she does and questions its normalcy.  

Byer said she rode first class on a plane recently, which made her feel famous.

If Byer won the honor of meeting Beyoncé, she said she would give her a hug and tell her that she loves her.

“I wouldn’t cry because that’s weird,” she said. “She’s just a person.”

She landed her role on “Girl Code” after coming back from a college tour and simply auditioning for it, Byer said. She got the job because of her loud and opinionated personality. The show empowered her to share her opinions with an audience.

Heller’s favorite thing about being on Girl Code is the women she works with.

“All these girls are so talented,” she said. “I hate when people say women aren’t funny because the ladies I work with are hilarious.”

Byer said her inspiration for her comedy routines come from her daily life.

“Simple things make me laugh so that’s what I share with people,” she said.

She tends to get stage fright before shows because she does not view herself as a stand-up comic, Byer said

“I feel like ‘Girl Code’ is more like girl suggestions,” Heller said. “The things that are said shouldn’t be completely taken at face value because a lot of it is just based on humor.”

By Connie Capone

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