Some of Sean Patton’s jokes were funny on Friday night in the Grand Palm Room. Some were relevant to college students like his take on smoking weed and “the seven outcomes of drinking” (food, fight, jail, hospital, porn, sex and death).
Some, though, left the audience feeling uncomfortable.
“I was not impressed,” Program Board Director Lexi Rosario said, a sophomore and finance major who was in charge of the event. “Not at all.”
Patton has been doing standup for years and has performed at The Improv and The Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival. He’s appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and most recently on Conan, according to his website. Yet with all the national attention, Friday night’s performance felt more like a failure.
Patton ranted about growing up among rednecks in the backwoods of Louisiana during the show and talked about Mississippi, getting little reaction out of the crowd.
At first, hardly any students sat in the Grand Palm Room as a DJ blasted rap and hip hop. There wasn’t much in the room but chairs and a plain stage at the front. By the time the event started, though, students filled the seats and pleased Rosario.
“The turnout was really good for the summer because normally we don’t have summer events,” Rosario said. “So with summer, it’s kind of like a hit or miss thing.”
Rosario then took the stage and introduced the main act. Patton, who was hired by the exiting Student Government board, opened his show screaming “Fuck!” which set the tone for the rest of his act.
“It was painful,” John Stahl said, a senior health care administration major. “A bunch of racist jokes. He started making fun of people in the audience. It was really untactful and just not that good.”
Patton commented on one student sitting in the crowd wearing Beats Headphones around his neck.
“You don’t have to be here, you know” Patton quipped.
Although some students got up and left the room, some enjoyed it.
“He had a good few punch lines, it was alright,” Shamariah Reneau said, a sophomore education major. “I didn’t stay for the whole thing, but most of it.”
Groups of students walked out occasionally while others came in the room to see what was going on. After 45 minutes of Patton ranting about drugs, fighting, openly gay rednecks and the art of making a Subway sandwich, the majority of the audience had left.
Whether he was drunk from the whiskey Patton claimed to have added to his Diet Pepsi, or the fact so many students left his show, he struggled to keep an audience.
Once Patton finished and stepped off the stage, those that stayed bolted out, but students are still looking forward to future SG events.
“Events like this I enjoy,” Stahl said. “Maybe just choose a different comedian. I like how student government does this. It’s a good idea. I support them.”
Reneau also enjoys events put on by SG. “It’s a time for us to sit and relax and have fun with each other and laugh,” she said.
“Next week we have a movie night, we have a couple different events coming up,” Rosario said. “The more successful they are, the happier I am, but its summer. As of now it’s hard to get students to do stuff because there’s not a lot on campus.”