Jay Pharoah brings in a night of laughs at Final Comedian

Campus Entertainment Network’s (CEN) Spring Week finished off on one of the biggest nights of the week as Jay Pharoah performed at Final Comedian. He brought a ton of laughter and joy to the Field House with his iconic impressions.

Jay Pharoah is becoming one of the biggest stand-up comedians in the world, mostly for having on par impressions of famous comedians and other celebrities. He stated at one point that there has not been an impression he has not been able to figure out. Pharoah has also gained fame for his time as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL), as well as his work in movies, such as “Unsane.”

Pharoah’s show was split into two 30-minute segments, the first being a series of interviews where he impersonated different celebrities. Some names he brought to life included Charles Barkley, Donald Trump, Stephen A. Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and more. He also gave the audience a sneak peek on one of the impressions he had been working on, but is yet to do publicly.

The questions for the interviews were based specifically on each character. For example, while impersonating Barack Obama, he was asked about his thoughts on Joe Biden and how he would compare Joe’s time in office so far to his own. Another example was, when impersonating Jay-Z, he was asked about the secret to his marriage with Beyoncé.

“We got to watch him personate a bunch of amazing comedians,” said senior Frank Weaver. “It was really fun. I thought they were all good.

Alicia Vincelli, a sophomore, said “I thought it was a great show, I have never seen a comedy show of someone impersonating others, so I thought it was really interesting.”

The second part of the show was an interview with Pharoah as himself. During this time, Pharoah talked a lot about how he got into comedy and who influenced him, naming comedians such as Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle.

He was asked about his impressions, including how he decides which celebrities he is going to impersonate and how long it takes for him to master an impression. While answering these questions, Pharoah went on to talk about his process for working on and mastering his impressions, adding that he would use them in everyday life.

The interview finished with a discussion on Pharoah’s role in “Unsane,” and how he liked working on such a dramatic and serious project. Pharoah talked about how he grew up in theatre and always loved playing in dramatic roles that he could not wait to do more in the future.

The questions were asked by Calvin Shimansky and Patrick Longval, the co-chairs of Where’s the Fun on CEN. According to Shimansky, they also got to choose which celebrity impressions Pharoah did by picking from his long list of around 200 impressions.

“It was wicked cool because he was very chill, and he made it so easy. He made the conversation so easy and the whole event went so smoothly because Jay’s personality was just really genuine,” Shimansky said.

“During this time of COVID, happiness and humor can be hard to come by, and it’s important to find that source of laughter and humor in the world, and this event helped bring that to the students of RWU,” said Longval.

Finally, the co-chairs, on behalf of CEN, wanted to thank Stage Crew for everything they have done.

“All week Stage Crew has been responsible for setting up the events, and they put in so much hard work and we want to give them credit where it’s due,” Shimansky and Longval said.