Virtual Comedy Night Features Wooster Alumnus

Geoffrey Allen

Staff Writer


Comedy is a medium of entertainment that has evolved alongside human history. From the political satire Greek Athenian plays to the dark comedy of the Korean film “Parasite,” comedy has changed and adapted to new formats over a millenia. Once again this medium is evolving, this time in wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of social distancing measures. While the platform as a whole has been stunted, stand-up may be one of the degrees of comedy that would’ve been nullified if it wasn’t for modern technology. That’s where writer, filmmaker, activist and most importantly, Wooster alumni Mamoudou N’Diaye ’14 comes in.


Last Saturday, N’Diaye hosted a Zoom “stand-up” comedy performance in partnership with the Wooster Activities Club (WAC). It was an unorthodox, but surprisingly fun, way of performing and experiencing comedy. First and foremost, N’Diaye asked the audience to turn on their video and microphones in order to receive feedback from the audience on his jokes and quips. As a member of the audience, I felt a bit vulnerable at first. As the act went on, however, I felt at ease laughing along with the jokes and stories he told that night. He is a comedian, after all.


Like any good comedian, N’Diaye incorporates dark humor into his personal stories of being a Black Ohioan. In between stories based on his general topic of race from the perspective of an African-American male, he transitions to side topics such as the complexities of dating in the ongoing pandemic and the forest fires on the west coast. N’Diaye adds more fuel to this fire by commenting on how Black people in American society are the first to bear the worst of setbacks in these cases. One joke that really had the audience laughing was when N’Diaye convinced everyone that Kix cereal had gone out of business, giving us faulty evidence that was filled with more shock value than truth. 


N’Diaye was also consistent with the message that he wanted the audience to take away: “Always second guess.” The biggest information bomb is the fact that he had originally studied as a neuroscience major, emphasizing the untapped potential of studying at a liberal arts college like our beloved Wooster. Unsurprisingly, he expressed distaste in some of the changes to the school including the new but controversial Mom’s menu.


Overall, N’Diaye gave a good show despite the technical and physical constraints of a Zoom meeting. The entertainment on Saturday really came down to the pure talent of the artist and it really showed in the enjoyment of myself and my fellow peers. Six years after graduation, N’Diaye uses the comedic talents that he picked up from the Underground wisely and shows potential. You can find N’Diaye online, despite expressing being out of touch with social media for the past two weeks. And don’t worry, he believes a two-state solution is possible for pineapple being a topping on pizza.