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Laughter might be best medicine for a stressful election season

ASI hosts free comedy night headlined with Silicon Valley star

Photo+by+Jonah+Vales
Photo by Jonah Vales

Photo by Jonah Vales

Photo by Jonah Vales

Janice Peregrina, Staff Reporter

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Are you caught up in the stressful atmosphere of election season? Maybe you’ve gotten caught up in a Facebook argument with a family member about politics. Maybe you’re tired of hearing about the next ridiculous thing coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth, or the never-ending drama surrounding Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. When all’s said and done, sometimes the best way to feel better after all the negativity is to laugh about it.

Associated Students, Inc.’s (ASI) comedy show ‘Jokes for Votes’, presented by Funny or Die, was a great way to sit back and release some tension, while also supporting a good cause.

The show was held to support the Jokes for Votes movement, which has been touring different California college campuses throughout October hosting free comedy nights with big-name comedians, and promoting mass voter registration before the registration deadline on October 24.

Volunteers with Jokes for Votes were outside of the Golden Eagle Ballroom helping students who were unregistered to fill out the forms right then and there. They also took down the information of students who wanted to pledge that they were going to vote, which was being recorded by the organization.

There was an informational flyer on every seat in the ballroom with staggering statistics about the number of registered voters in California. “There are more than 7 million Californians who are eligible, but not registered to vote,” which constitutes “30% of eligible voters.” This number is even more significant because 7 million unregistered voters are “more people than the entire population of 36 of our U.S. States.” Jokes for Votes hopes to bridge this large gap by providing the resources necessary to those “disproportionately urban, young, and people of color” who are unregistered.

With the name Jokes for Votes, one could assume that the comedy would be very politically driven in the show. However, the show focused on a wide variety of topics.

The comedians present were Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani, Comedy Bang! Bang! stars Baron Vaughn and James Adomian, and Kate Berlant, one of the nine comedians to watch in 2015, according to TimeOut LA. Each one added their own distinctive flair. Berlant was the host of the show and came on stage wearing a red baseball cap parodying Donald Trump’s campaign slogan: “Make America A Hat Again.”Her irreverent and self-deprecating humor was enjoyably jarring to watch.

Adomian was the first one up, and his comedy was mainly focused on marijuana and his gay identity; he is a self-professed “homo-American.”

Vaughn’s comedy constantly nudged the line of comfortability as he focused on living as a black person in America. Vaughn spoke about his trip to the Texas town where he discovered his ancestors had lived as slaves, black names, and police/mass shootings. Despite these grim topics, Vaughn had the audience laughing without fail.

Nanjiani finished the night on a lighter note with personal anecdotes. A story about the time he first discovered masturbation, which he jokingly kept back from the audience by saying it was “too embarrassing,” was well received by the crowd.

Overall the Jokes for Votes comedy night was a great representation of Cal State LA student voter status, and a fun way to start off the class week.

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Laughter might be best medicine for a stressful election season