Comedian comes to MU to support service organization


Courtesy Evan Wecksell

Comedian Evan Wecksell will perform at the Maintenance Shop on Nov. 11. 

Evan Wecksell will perform at 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the Maintenance Shop for a performance benefiting the United Service Organizations.

The Veteran’s Day event, organized by the Iowa State chapter of the Theta Chi fraternity, will raise funds to further the USO’s mission of bringing live entertainment to troops and their families. Admission will be free of charge, though attendees are encouraged to make a donation of $5-$10.

Michael Tallon, junior in architecture and member of Theta Chi, said that the fraternity has a long-standing relationship with the organization. 

“Our motto is ‘The Helping Hand,'” Tallon said. “[Theta Chi] saw the USO as an organization that extends a helping hand to families and veterans and military men and women all over the world and thought it would be great to work with them.” 

Wecksell, a Los Angeles comedian who joined Theta Chi while attending Tufts University, has traveled to many college campuses over the past decade performing his guitar-based comedy routine. Drawing songwriting inspiration from Bon Jovi, he aims to transcend the campiness often associated with musical comedy acts.

Wecksell, whose songs include “I Wanna Be Black,” “” and “Attack of the Cougar,” said that he puts great care into writings songs that are as anthemic as they are funny.

“My songs are definitely written with a songwriter’s touch, but they’re also off their rocker,” Wecksell said. “You could replace ‘I Wanna Be Black’ with ‘Living on a Prayer’ and get the same vibe.”

The comedian has appeared on VH1’s “I Love the 80s 3D,” E’s “30 Most Outrageous Celebrity Feuds” and made several appearances in skits on Conan’s talk show. He also made a brief cameo in the 2012 film “Ted,” though moviegoers had to look very carefully to spot him.

“You’ve probably seen my arm when Ted is sitting on the couch at the Flash Gordon party,” Wecksell said. “You’ll see a hairy Jewish arm, and that’s my arm.” 

Wecksell has auditioned several times for “America’s Got Talent.” His attempts to get on the show have not been televised, though he did make it in front of the judges in 2009. Wecksell prepared a song about David Hasselhoff that was poorly received by Hasselhoff and his fellow judges. 

“It was cool to be in front 1,500 people, but Piers Morgan wanted me gone right away,” Wecksell said. 

Wecksell received significantly more fanfare and publicity earlier this year when a video featuring his 2-year-old son went viral. The video featured the toddler enthusiastically identifying the theme songs of WWE wrestlers and has received over 400,000 views on YouTube since August.

Wecksell joked that his son has already received more views in two months than he has in seven years. He plans to let the youngster tag along for an audition of his own the next time he tries out for “America’s Got Talent,”

“I’ll bring him in and we’ll see what happens,” Wecksell said. “I’m expecting him to go on, perform and that [will be] it. Or we could both go to the finals and compete against each other and ruin the family.”

Wecksell’s act blends musical and improv comedy and encourages audience participation. According to Wecksell, audiences can expect a performance similar to those put on by the likes of Stephen Lynch or Jimmy Fallon but should not expect any prop comedy. 

“If you hate Carrot Top, good news: I’m not Carrot Top,” Wecksell said.  

Tallon said that while Wecksell’s comedy is sure to connect with his college-aged audience, the event is ultimately about connecting to the men and women of the armed forces. 

“We’re also having a letter-writing drive to write letters to troops and families overseas to thank them for their service on Veteran’s Day,” Tallon said.