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Participants find laughs in Bigggggg Mike, Ohio State-related jokes during open mic night

In the past, some well-known comedians have come to Ohio State, but the stand-up comics who take classes here took their turn Wednesday. 

The Ohio Union Activities Board hosted “Laugh ‘Til You’re Scarlet” Comedy Open Mic Night on Wednesday at Woody’s Tavern in the Ohio Union beginning at 8 p.m. The unticketed event lasted about two hours and was open to all OSU Columbus campus students.

Megan Lyon, the comedy events chair for OUAB, said in an email before the event that it marked the first time OUAB put on an open mic night. 

“A comedy open mic night hasn’t really been done through OUAB before and we’re always up for trying new ideas and events,” Lyon said in the email. “When we came up with this idea, we thought it seemed like an amazing opportunity for many students to showcase their talents to an audience.” 

Most of the jokes that elicited the most laughter were specific to OSU and the life of a college student in general. Some targets included the colorful characters OSU students encounter along High Street, the seemingly typical college girl uniform of yoga pants and leggings and the man known as Bigggggg Mike. Twenty-three-year-old Bigggggg Mike, whose real name is Michael Moses Tarpeh, was wanted in several states, and came to the Ohio State campus around Feb. 26. Tarpeh was arrested in Iowa on March 5.

One student who performed was Justin Maxwell, a third-year in theater. He said his friend encouraged him to participate.

“One of my buddies from high school is really into it, and he strongly recommended that I do it,” Maxwell said. 

Maxwell said that he had never done stand-up comedy before.

“I was extremely nervous,” he said. “Since I signed up for it in January, I’ve been working on material.” 

In the end, Maxwell said he thought his performance went well.

“I want to try it again,” he said. 

Woody’s Tavern was crowded when the event began, and the comedy open mic night was a bit of a surprise to some who were there.

“I came for food,” said Katelyn Turner, a second-year in human resources. “I didn’t know this was going on.”

But she said she enjoyed the stand-up comedy anyway.

“So far it’s been a good experience,” Turner said about one-third of the way through the night.

The best part, Turner said, was that there were so many comedians performing.

“All the different people have their own jokes,” Turner said. “They don’t talk about the same things.”

Although Turner said she enjoyed the performances, she said she is not sure if she would ever be able to perform stand-up comedy herself.

“I don’t know if I could come up with all of the stuff (the stand-up comedians) do,” Turner said. 

Students were able to sign up for the event by emailing Lyon beforehand.

Lyon said 14 students signed up, and all were allowed to participate.

“Everyone that signed up will have the chance to perform,” Lyon said in the email. “They were all chosen, no one was turned away.” 

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