U club brings comedy to campus

The new student group hosts an open mic night every month.

Junior psychology major Jim Born (right) and junior journalism major Trevor Born host an open mic night free to University of Minnesota students once a month in the Whole of Coffman Memorial Union.

Junior psychology major Jim Born (right) and junior journalism major Trevor Born host an open mic night free to University of Minnesota students once a month in the Whole of Coffman Memorial Union.

mackenzie collins

Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughter and a good sense of humor can protect people against heart disease, and a new University of Minnesota group is providing the medicine. The University Comedy Club, founded in January by friends Trevor Born and Jim Broton, hosts an open mic night free to University students once a month at The Whole in Coffman Union. âÄúWhen youâÄôve written something and donâÄôt know how the audience is going to receive it, there is this tension and nervousness,âÄù Broton said. âÄúAnd then when you put it out there and get the approval of the audience, itâÄôs a fantastic feeling. ItâÄôs really unique.âÄù The duo received grants for the first two of its shows this semester but paid about $85 out of their own pockets for two other shows. âÄúWe wanted to create a space to try some new things that you canâÄôt really do when youâÄôre using someone elseâÄôs venue to create kind of a more fresh and fun atmosphere,âÄù Born said. With the freedom to do what they want, the student comedians have performed acts where Broton dressed up in a cigarette costume and danced during one of BornâÄôs performances. The group doesnâÄôt hold regular meetings like a traditional club, Born said, but rather provides a safe stand-up setting for aspiring University comedians. âÄúItâÄôs been a really good experience as of how to run a comedy show or just any show in general,âÄù Broton said. âÄúWe have to book people, the venue and do all of the promotions.âÄù Each show at The Whole has included about eight to 10 University comedians, local talent and even several famous comedians like Maggie Farris, who has been on NBC, ABC, CBS and ESPN2 Cold Pizza, Born said. University vocal education senior and comedian Trevor Anderson, who has performed in two of the Comedy ClubâÄôs shows, attended Rooftop ComedyâÄôs National College Comedy Competition last year, where he said he realized he could do comedy as a career and not just a hobby. Skills like thinking on his feet and being comfortable in front of large groups have paid off in regard to his vocal education major, he said. For Anderson, comedy is now a serious option. âÄúI intend to keep doing comedy over my degree, which my mom is finally OK with, but she says to keep on looking for jobs for music degrees,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúBut IâÄôm not one to put all of my eggs into one basket.âÄù After being involved with the tight-knit Twin Cities comedy scene over the past few years, Broton, Born and Anderson each said they have done paid gigs for a variety of occasions, from movie openings to headlining for famous comedians at local comedy clubs. âÄúI just have this insatiable drive to express myself, and comedy provides an outlet for that,âÄù Broton said. The Comedy ClubâÄôs next show will be at 7 p.m. May 5 at The Whole and will offer free pizza and soda.