Nicole Byer mixes politics and comedy at AfterDark


Jill Itzen/Iowa State Daily

ISU AfterDark held its second event of the semester on Friday, March 4. This event featured the comedian Nicole Byer. Byer is comedian and actress who stars in the scripted comedy based on her life, Loosely Exactly Nicole, as well as prank show Ladylike.

Hollie Schlesselman

Up-and-coming comedian Nicole Byer stepped onto the stage in the Great Hall at the Memorial Union for ISU AfterDark Friday.

She greeted the audience with a loud and proud “yaaas” and had the crowd roaring with laughter.

“Can my ladies make some noise?!” she yelled to the crowd. The crowd was ready, and she started the act.

Byer didn’t hold back at all as she started with an anecdote about the Women’s Marches that were held all over the United States, and she didn’t hold back any less when she began to criticize President Donald Trump.

“Did any of you vote for Donald Trump?” she addressed the audience. Several members in the crowd cheered, but not for long.

Byer then asked those who cheered why they voted for Trump. After a brief amount of silence, a brave young man in the crowd answered in a way that wasn’t necessarily political.

“Because he’s hot!”

Byer addressed the comment as a joke, and after a couple of insults about President Trump’s appearances, she decided to look towards the “bright side.”

“I think the best thing to come out of this election is now parents can say, ‘Baby, you could be anything you want. Anything at all, because America just elected a literal dumpster to be its president.”

She tied the joke together with this, “If you wanna be a block of cheese, be a block of cheese!”

This joke, among others, is a direct summary of what her show was like. The content was real and twisted in a sharp and edgy way that had the audience wondering where she was going to take the joke. It also brought some audience members to rate the show as a “B.”

Erin Nichols and her friend Kate Vonnahme were among those audience members.  Nichols, a sophomore studying graphic design, rated the performance as such because she thought that Byer was funny but a little off at some points. Vonnahme, a sophomore studying finance, agreed with her.

They didn’t comment any further as to why they thought the show deserved a B rating.

However, it is plausible that they would rate the performance in that way.

Performing comedy, actually, performing in general is difficult to pull off successfully, there is no doubt about that. On the other hand, it is also something that can be perfected with practice. There were points in Byer’s set where it seemed like she hadn’t been prepared.

For example, when she was trying to think of her next joke she would address to the crowd that she was trying to think of the next one. This was distracting at times, but Byer pulled through and had the crowd wrapped around her finger.

Overall, the performance was definitely memorable. Byer’s jokes were all relevant to today’s pop culture and had the crowd roaring with laughter.