APPS free comedy show brings the laughs to App State students

Christine Dudley , A&C Reporter

Charming optimist and comedian, Josh Gondelman, kicked off the Welcome Back Comedy Show Thursday at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. 

“I’m so excited, truly, to be here, at the most important pronunciation college I’ve ever been to,” Gondelman said. “You know, at MIT, if you call it ‘May-ssachusetts’ Institute of Technology, they would just be like, ‘We don’t give a s—. You’re an idiot. You’re a clown and we’re all engineers, so don’t worry about it.’”

Gondelman and two other comedians poked fun at the audience during the 8 p.m. event.

For this year’s free comedy show, Appalachian Popular Programming Society booked three rising stand-up stars—Gondelman, Dina Hashem and Marcella Arguello.

 Now a writer and producer for Showtime’s “Desus and Mero,” Gondelman used to teach preschool and joked that he was a “hipster Mr. Rogers.”  

The subdued and darker second act, Dina Hashem, talked about her struggles growing up in a strict Muslim household.

 “No one talks about the body hair,” Hashem said. “We couldn’t talk about anything sexy like that.”

Hashem casually talked about the father that left her family and moved back to the Middle East when she was little. 

Hashem also opened up about her love life and said, “you know you’ve been on Tinder too long when you start noticing personal growth.” 

The last act, Arguello, brought a shameless, explosive energy.

Arguello, with her curly mane and claws out, dominated the stage, periodically resting her foot on a stage speaker. Striding left and right and jumping back and forth, she tested the spotlight, but admitted it was keeping up well.

All the comedians had a different energy, different style and a different way of telling their jokes and observations of the world.

— Gabbi Goelz

“My favorite joke was when (Arguello) started clowning her height and being misgendered,” sophomore social work major Ebube Bobby-Tasie said.

As she sauntered on stage, Arguello said “I’m tall as s—, … but before you ask, I don’t play basketball.”

Arguello said her mom tells her she looks like her father. Even when she wears a dress, her mom tells her she looks like her father, in a dress.

“It reminded me of my mom and how she clowns me on the daily,” Bobby-Tasie said.

In the last bit of her set, Arguello performed Michael Jackson, Beyoncé and Mariah Carey impersonations, which had the audience roaring.

“I like how they had a variety of acts, because all the comedians had a different energy, different style and a different way of telling their jokes and observations of the world,” freshman mathematics major Gabbi Goelz said. 

Goelz, a self-proclaimed comedy nerd, said she also liked that she could go to a comedy show with all her friends and not worry about the cost. 

“We wanted to do a free event to make sure that it was inclusive for everybody on campus,” said APPS member and junior hospitality and tourism management major Sophia Rumford. 

“I love comedy. Laughing is a pastime for me, and that was the most perfect way to spend my self-care day,” Bobby-Tasie said.