By SUSANNAH CLARK
Comedian, actor and pop-culture enthusiast Michael Ian Black has signed on to kick-off Giant Productions’ new spring comedy series next week Thursday, Feb. 15.
This semester, Giant has nabbed five or six comedy acts to perform.
Sophomore Julia Schranck, a representative of Giant Productions, said the staff was thrilled about having the comedians on campus.
“We have received some really good feedback about comedy shows we put on in the past, and decided it would be fun to give the ‘series’ thing a try,” she said. “We were really excited to get a big name comedian like Michael Ian Black to kick off the series.”
Giant is still working on lining-up the rest of the performers.
“The other comedians will be announced as we book them (we have a pretty big list), and they are sure to be awesome,” Schranck said. “Hopefully we’ll get a good turn out; it’s going to be a great show.”
According to the bio of Black posted on Wikipedia, he is graduate of New York University and is best known for his outrageous commentaries on the VHI series of pop-culture nostalgia shows “I Love the 80s,” “I Love the 70s,” etc.
Born in Chicago and raised in New Jersey, Black claims he is “overtly Jewish” (the surname “Black” is the English translation of “Schwartz”), and often emphasizes this in his routines.
He has made regular appearances on Sierra Mist advertisements and has played several successful rounds of “Celebrity Poker Showdown.” Black wrote for and starred in his own television series on Comedy Central, “Stella.” He also provided the voice of the charismatic sock puppet on TV commercials for Pets.com.
Black currently resides in Connecticut with his wife and two children.
Along with URI, Black has also made appearances at several other college campuses, including Guilford College, The University of Rochester and Syracuse University.
This past October, when asked by The Daily Orange, Syracuse’s campus newspaper, about his opinion of college students, Black said “college kids have buttered [his] bread for a long time, so [he has] nothing bad to say about them.” When asked to elaborate, the comedian quipped, “Nothing. I mean, most of them are f***ing idiots, but beyond that, nothing bad to say.”
University of Mary Washington students have also responded well to the news of Black’s visit to campus. When freshman Emilie Begin heard the buzz, she immediately told all of her friends, who responded with similar zeal.
“I mean, who doesn’t love I love the 80s?” Begin said.
Michael Ian Black will perform at Dodd Auditorium Thursday, Feb.15. The show starts at 9 p.m. and doors will open at 8:15 p.m. Tickets will be on sale for $3 at the door before the performance.
Although it will be the day after Valentine’s Day, this performance has the potential to make even the loneliest of cynics crack a smile.