Nicole Byer draws crowd of 550 despite Friday night timing

Nicole Byers entertained guests during her comedy show Friday night at the Musco Center for the Arts. Photo by Bonnie Cash

Nicole Byer entertained an audience of more than 500 during her comedy show Friday night at the Musco Center for the Arts. Photo by Bonnie Cash

With a show that consisted of stories about one-night stands and eating a cheeseburger while crying on an airport toilet, comedian Nicole Byer entertained an audience of 550 in the Musco Center Friday night.

Byer, best known for her role in MTV comedy series “Girl Code,” hoped that, for the length of show, students could forget about their worries and focus on laughing.

“I do shows literally anywhere,” Byer told The Panther before the show. “If you ask me to do a show in your basement, I’ll come do a show in your basement. I love comedy and I love doing stand-up. There are days I do not get out of my bed until I have to get up and go perform.”

The timing of the event was different this year, as it was held on a Friday from 9 to 11 p.m.

Most fall speakers — including “The Big Bang Theory” star Kunal Nayyar, who visited Chapman last year — come mid-week and start earlier in the evening.

But the Friday night timing didn’t deter attendees. Two hundred more people showed up for Byer’s show than Nayyar’s.

“Comedy shows typically are later at night, so we felt as though going to a later show would be something that students would be interested in,” said senior Sam Schlernitzauer, chair of the University Program Board, which put on the event.

The crowd was anything but shy. Throughout the show, individuals yelled out to Byer or responded to questions. Byer answered most of them, some more kindly than others.

Nicole Byer gives Tessa Germaine, a freshman film production major, a hung at the meet and greet event before Byer's speech. Photo courtesy of Tessa Germaine.

Nicole Byer gives Tessa Germaine, a freshman film production major, a hung at the meet and greet event before Byer’s speech. Photo courtesy of Tessa Germaine.

Most knew Byer from her role in “Girl Code” — a series that features comedian women discussing common female issues — but she also does improvisation, stand-up, has appeared on a number of other television series and even had a part in this summer’s movie “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” Byer also has her own new show, “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” which premiered Sept. 5.

Many of Byer’s jokes Friday night were raunchy, but some students saw her humor as “refreshing.”

“I thought it was super real and honest and just raw,” said sophomore political science major Roanan Keldin. “It was refreshing. I didn’t feel like anyone was on thin ice, tip-toeing around. I just felt like it was a person genuinely saying what she wanted to say with no filters.”

Another attendee, senior communication studies major Alexis Monroe, has now seen Byer’s stand-up multiple times and believes the jokes are only getting better.

“I saw her at my old school before I transferred and she was even funnier this time, although I didn’t even think that was possible,” Monroe said.

Click here to read The Panther’s exclusive Q&A with Byer.

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