With the 2016 election fast approaching, “The Daily Show”‘s Michelle Wolf and “Saturday Night Live”‘s (SNL) Michael Che took the stage at Cemex to perform stand-up routines that drew from political themes as well as broader social issues.
Wolf has previously held several positions at “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and is currently a contributor and writer
for “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah. Michael Che, a Weekend Update co-anchor on SNL, has also briefly worked as a correspondent for “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.
Before she went on stage, Wolf told The Daily that she and Che agree comedically on a lot of things.
“We try to take [sketches] from both our unique perspectives, and it tends to work out pretty well,” Wolf said. “A lot of times we’ll be at The Cellar together at New York, and on the same shows, and we have very different premises and very different jokes so it works out well.”
Wolf said that her comedy often focuses on events that happen around her and have public relevance.
During the event, Wolf’s act spanned jokes about Hillary Clinton, body image and dating, among other topics. She had a fast-paced, high-energy style as she transitioned between politics and more personal subjects.
Che’s act appeared more loosely structured and drew from audience input. His performance tackled issues including racism and sexuality. During the course of his stand-up, he asked multiple audience members about their perspectives on social issues and used their answers to direct his performance.
“It was great. It was the most immersive show I’ve been to,” said Thu Ngo ’17.
Trista Shideler, assistant director and coordinator of student engagement, coordinated the event and has collaborated with organizations including the Speaker’s Bureau to host comedians such as Aziz Ansari and Chris Hardwick in the past. Shideler’s motivation to continue organizing comedy events stems from her personal love of stand-up and from positive student feedback.
“We really wanted to focus on this idea of premium programming, and so what that meant to me was names people recognized, faces people recognized and knowing right off the bat that they’re gonna have a good time,” Shideler said.
Shideler highlighted the importance of student engagement in Cardinal Nights events. Che and Wolf’s show was opened by Charlie Dektar ’17, who performed a brief stand-up comedy routine. Dektar has been deeply involved in the Stanford comedy community since his freshman year. He has participated in student organizations such as the comedic group Stanford Stand Up, D, Stanford Improvisors and the satirical publication The Stanford Flipside.
Shideler appreciates student openers for a number of reasons: Students warm up the room for the comedians, and the students themselves benefit from the opportunity to open for eminent performers.
“Hopefully in the future we can continue bringing people who are top-notch funny people,” she said.
Contact Claudia Heymach at cheymach ‘at’ stanford.edu.