Cooking tutorials and Mason Ramsey-impersonations at ISU AfterDark

Antoni Porowski, an Emmy award winning food and wine expert from the Netflix show Queer Eye answers questions during ISU AfterDark on Mar. 1. Porowski talks about the Oscars and how nerve racking the experience was. 

Margaret Troup

The Great Hall of the Memorial Union was brimming with enthusiastic fans of “Queer Eye” and comedy as they welcomed Antoni Porowski and comedian Becky Robinson on Friday evening.

The curtains of the Great Hall stage parted and screams emitted from the audience as they welcomed Porowski to Iowa State.

Porowski started off his Q&A by talking about his personal life.

“[Becoming a celebrity]’s still very much zero to one hundred,” Porowski said. “Everyone always has an episode [of “Queer Eye”] that was really touching to them. That never gets boring”

Porowski came across as a regular guy, with an extremely laid back yet passionate attitude about being an actor and a chef made for entertaining conversation.

Porowski made sure to do a “shameless self-plug” and talk about his upcoming cookbook “Antoni in the Kitchen.”

“I’ve always had a strong emotional connection to food,” Porowski said. “It’s a very text-heavy cookbook. It has a lot of stories about the food through my life.”

Porowski made sure to give some life-advice that can apply to everyone.

“University was the best of time and the worst of times,” Porowski said. “I wish I remembered to tell myself to be gentle with myself. Whatever struggles you have, just know that you’re not alone.”

Porowski showed his true Fab Five-colors with advice, causing appreciative “aw’s” from the audience.

Porowski wrapped up his time at Iowa State with a twenty minute cooking demonstration. He pulled up an excited fan from the audience, asking for her help in preparing a fennel salad with a citrus vinaigrette.

Jealous audience members watched with glee as he gave cooking instructions with interjected stories.

“My favorite part was being so close to him,” said Faith Venenga, the student chosen by Porowski to help him cook. “My legs were shaking the entire time.”

Warming up the crowd for Porowski was comedian Becky Robinson, known for her impersonations and her appearances on late night talk shows.

Robinson’s first appearance on stage came as a comedic shock to the audience as she was dressed as Mason Ramsey, a 12-year old singer known for his yodeling.

While performing this impersonation, Robinson impressively changed her voice to match Ramsey’s high-pitched southern drawl.

One of the first acts Robinson did involved pulling two students from the audience up on stage to serenade them.

Robinson then sang along to one of Ramsey’s songs while staying in character and performed suggestive dance moves near the girls, causing rowdy laughter from the audience.

Once she let the girls go back to their seats, Robinson shed the Ramsey costume on stage to reveal her “Kum & Go” t-shirt.

“Don’t judge me guys,” Robinson said. “I got my shirt at a gas station today.”

Robinson’s stand up was conversational with the audience as they would ask questions and made jokes and comments on the answers. She started by asking the audience who was single and who was in a relationship. 

“You’re in Iowa so, there’s not many options for you guys,” Robinson said to the many hands held up by singles.

Robinson further poked fun at Iowa.

“This is where Ted Bundy comes to Spring Break,” Robinson said, causing widespread laughter. “I mean, your school mascot is a natural disaster. Why?”

Robinson’s show had many funny moments, using both situational and physical comedy to evoke laughter from the audience. She also parted some life-advice to the students of Iowa State.

“Drop out of college,” Robinson said, surprising the audience. “Make a podcast about how many people you’ve hooked up with instead. That’s the only advice I could give you.”

The next ISU AfterDark will feature former Nickelodeon star, Josh Peck, and hypnotist Bryan Imbus on Friday, April 5. The final AfterDark event of the semester will begin at 9 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.