October is LGBT history month, and comedy clubs at Ohio State are coming together to celebrate the LGBTQ community on Oct. 5 with their Queer Agenda Comedy Show.
The event is being hosted by Fishbowl Improv, with help from Allies For Diversity — a student organization that holds in-depth discussions about diversity, multiculturalism and inclusivity. Queer-identified comics from several comedy organizations on campus will be featured on stage, including the Buckeye Stand-up Comedy Club, Sundial Humor Magazine, Backburner Sketch Comedy and 8th Floor Improv.
“OSU comedy is queerer than ever, and funnier because of it,” said Jacob Grove, a third-year in computer science and engineering, who will be performing improv at the show.
The acts cover a wide range of comedy styles, including improv, sketch comedy, stand-up acts and spoken word from Sundial Humor Magazine.
Last year’s show included appearances from a “gay council” that debated the “gayest” chicken restaurant in Columbus and a TED-talk-style analysis aimed at finding the “straightest” thing in the universe, said Matt Loxley, a fourth-year in economics and Islamic studies and vice president of Fishbowl Improv.
“That’s something I take personal pride in, that the show is kind of weird,” Loxley said. “We try to give everyone a little sample of all the different comedy groups, a decidedly rainbow slice of the cake.”
This is the second year the event will be held, and the first time it will be held in October to coincide with LGBT history month and comes a week before National Coming Out Day.
“It’s really refreshing, not just to do the show, but to watch everyone else perform,” Loxley said. “Because as someone who is LGBTQ-identifying you are completely in on the joke.”
The event is performed by queer-identified students, but the comedians say that their performances are funny for people of all orientations. The acts themselves may include jokes about identity, but that’s not all they will be about.
“People do standup, people do improv, and the stand-up and improv isn’t always explicitly about gay stuff,” said Ian Gray, a third-year in public policy analysis and president of the Buckeye Stand-up Comedy Club. “Last year I did five minutes, and maybe half of it was gay material and half of it wasn’t.”
Gray said there has been a push towards making comedy more diverse and including a full spectrum of different identities and experiences. The Queer Agenda Comedy Show is a chance for Ohio State students to experience the diversity on campus in the comedy scene.
“It’s celebrating the queer identity and that it’s a valuable part of campus,” Gray said.
The event takes place Friday in Lazenby Hall in Room 021. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show lasts from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.