Stand-up comedy good for the soul

Laughter really can be the best medicine, whether it is a heavy week of exams, a date gone badly, or an actual impairment to the human body.

At least that’s what Fletcher Lewis believes.

Lewis is a senior in management and a self-labeled hobby comedian. He’ll be hosting the Stand-Up Invasion Comedy Tour featuring comedian Benny Herman on Thursday at the Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union.

“Stand-up comedy is a good way to unwind after a rough week, and college is nothing but one rough week after another,” Lewis said. “Laughter is really the best medicine, so especially come on out and enjoy yourselves – it’s going to be a great show.”

The headliner of the event is Benny Herman of Des Moines. Herman is a national act who can also be heard broadcasting as a DJ on the radio station LAZER 103. Students are encouraged to attend not only for the humor, but for a few surprises Lewis alluded to but wouldn’t give away.

Herman has spent a great deal of time over the last eight years doing stand-up comedy mainly in the Midwest. He started his career, while attending school in Cedar Rapids, at a venue called the Penguin.

Herman’s material really comes from random stuff that happens to him – such as sitting at the bars with his friends and joking around.

“I usually tell stories about myself,” Herman said. “I like to play on my stupidity; my act can be very relatable.”

Lewis said Herman has a lot to offer ISU students.

“Comedians are poor, so are college kids, and I’m not getting paid, but the support and affirmation are nice,” Lewis said. “So come boost my self-esteem and put a little cash in Ben Herman’s pocket.”

The show was put together by Ben Houk, who started Sold Out Entertainment and works closely with Lewis to put together shows similar to this one. Houk would like to make comedy shows a more regular event in Ames. He has already set up at least four more shows for this semester with a variety of different comedians.

Many of the special guests who have visited Iowa State have come thanks to the work of Houk, Among the guests Houk has drawn here: Dane Cook, Dave Attell and Jodie Sweetin.

Houk said Herman was very excited to be at Iowa State. One of the things he told students to expect was very obvious: to laugh.

“Expect to laugh a lot. There’s going to be a few surprises, too. People will just have to come to the show to find out what I’m talking about,” Houk said. “[Herman’s] charismatic enigma and perhaps the mystery of Ben Herman will be revealed on Thursday night.”

Lewis will be opening the show as well as hosting his own comedy act.

He started his career as a comedian his freshman year at Veishea Says I’m Funny.

“I did terrible. From there I just started writing more and more, though,” Lewis said.

Lewis mostly likes to talk about everyday things that come up.

“Real life can be funny like that,” Lewis said.

Recently, Lewis took third place in the last Veishea competition but said he loves to perform whenever the opportunity arises.

The show starts at 9 p.m. and will cost $3 for students and $5 for the general public.