Comedians crack up ULV campus

Posted Oct. 26, 2007
Leah Heagy
Tom Vrab captivated the audience Oct. 19 in Founders Auditorium with his wild expressions and body movement. Vrab was among five other young comedians who performed in the show. Vrab also appeared in the Aspen Comedy Festival earlier this year and currently attends Bobbie Oliver’s Stand-up Academy, held at Pasadena’s Ice House.

Jonathan Smith
Staff Writer

Founders Auditorium is usually a place filled with educational lectures and musical concerts.

But on Oct. 18, laughter filled the auditorium as five different comedians graced the stage for a night of comedy.

The event, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, was one of plenty set for the celebration of homecoming week.

“The turnout was great,” Kristina Vaughn, comedy chair for CAB, said. “I enjoyed the whole thing.”

Recent University of La Verne alumnus Yesel Manrique served as the master of ceremonies for the night.

Manrique’s high octane energy got the crowd going as his bits included a wide range of topics including female costumes during Halloween time.

“I love doing these college shows,” Manrique said during his performance.

Manrique may have had less stage time than the other performers however, he was pleased with his performance.

“You really want to get them from the start,” Manrique said.

The first performer was Jovonnie Mabrie, who was not scheduled to appear.

The crowd did not seem to mind as Mabrie got the crowd laughing when he performed his Prince impersonation of a fake song, “Booger on Your Arm.”

Tom Vrab, the third comedian of the night, blended several pop culture references such as Rihanna that set the crowd in laughter.

Vrab got most of his laughter for making fun of how drunk people find amusement in everything that they see.

Vrab also performed several impersonations that ranged from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Chris Tucker.

Robbie Pickard was the next performer who brought the college atmosphere comedy to the stage.

Pickard proved to be a crowd favorite.

“I love doing college shows,” Pickard said. “My jokes tend to go towards college crowds.”

“I love to do shows where the crowd wants to laugh,” Pickard said.

Pickard’s set included several topics that appealed to the college students such as sexual encounters and being broke.

The crowd went into a frenzy when Pickard mentioned how a woman at a different show wore a shirt with the headline “50% Single.”

Andrew Delman was the last performer of the night.

While some of the crowd had left the auditorium, Delman continued to keep the remaining audience laughing.

“I thought it was good,” Delman said. “I think that they were here to laugh.”

The comedians from the event were no strangers to the stage.

Several of the comedians have been performing stand-up for over a year, doing at least three to four shows a week.

Delman started performing as a stage comedian at the age of 16.

“When I first started, my jokes were all juvenile,” Delman said.

All five comedians started in the same place and have had similar experiences.

“The Bobbie Oliver’s workshop is how we met each other,” Pickard said, who has been performing for a little over five months.

“It’s just fun because we are all upcoming guys,” Manrique said.

While all the comedians have started at similar crossroads, all have dreams of doing something different.

Pickard considers his comedy different than the other performers of the night.
Likewise, Delman also sees his comedy in a different light.

Delman hopes to do sketch comedy in the future, similar to bits on “Saturday Night Live.”

“I’m more of like a writer-based comedian,” Pickard said.

While the passion of making people laugh is in the hearts of all the comedians, it might take a while for their dreams to come true.

Manrique explained how it takes more than eight years for a comedian to make a decent living off of comedy.

“It’s hard trying to be a comedian,” Manrique said. “Got to have a day job.”

However, no matter how long the road will take, the five comedian’s zeal for comedy will still be there.

“Once the nervousness goes away, there are no words to explain it,” Delman said.

“I love it. I wish I could have realized I wanted to do it earlier,” Manrique said.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at

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