Two internationally recognized comedians are visiting UAA this Thursday. Student Activities presents “A Night of Comedy with Marcus and Melissa Villasenor.”
Melissa Villasenor is best known as a celebrity impressionist contestant in the 2011 season of “America’s Got Talent,” and Marcus was the 2008 runner-up in the “Last Comic Standing.”
The anononymous “Marcus” began his career in radio first, voicing several commercials and putting in thousands of hours of live radio before even attempting comedy stage.
“In 2005 I did commercials for a radio station, and they brought in comedians on weekends. One of the comics told me I should do it because they thought I was really funny on air,” said Marcus.
As the years went by, he began to become recognized for his comedic shows.
He was the winner of the 2007 Seattle International Comedy Competition and winner of the 2007 Rocky Mountain Laugh Off. He was also a semifinalist in the HBO’s “Lucky 21 Comedy Showcase” in 2007.
Then Marcus landed a spot in “Last Comic Standing.”
“It was crazy being on that show,” he said. “When you go from being obscure to people knowing your name.”
Having background in radio has given him many perks when performing a show at universities or at a club, according to his official MySpace.
“I did a show two weeks ago at a community college in Utah, and the first show had 800 people and the second show had 1,300. I had never done a show where so many people showed up,” he said.
He used to do impressions but decided to go a different route.
“When I very first started out, I did impressions. There is only so much you can do with it, though, when you’re a man. It’s more unique when a woman does it,” Marcus said.
He has never been to Alaska, but has another talent to share with this state.
“I’m an avid ghost hunter. If anyone in Alaska knows any places that are weird, I’ll go with you ghost hunting. I have the equipment for it.”
According to Marcus, he and Villasenor have only met once in person.
Villasenor has also never been to Alaska but looks forward to visiting.
At 12 years old, she discovered that doing impressions makes people laugh and feel good.
Her first stand-up was at her high school talent show.
“In that moment I realized I was in an epiphany to do this for the rest of my life,” Villasenor said.
She later made it into the top 16 in “America’s Got Talent” for her comedy. Even though she didn’t win, she still had a great time.
“My favorite thing about being on that show was feeling very unique and different compared to the singers and dance groups,” Villasenor said.
Villasenor is also working on other projects.
She is currently writing a memoir about herself, including humorous stories.
“My goal is to have the book out by December. It’s already at a hundred pages, but of course with all the editing, it will probably be out next year,” she said.
Another thing she did were voiceovers for the cartoon “Adventure Time,” and she also did a one-liner in “Family Guy.”
“It was really fun. Voiceover work is the most fun to me because you don’t have to dress up for work. It’s only your voice so you can be wacky,” she said.
She hasn’t starred on Comedy Central yet, but has been on the road doing shows solo, at clubs and with other comic headlines.
She also starred as Sarah in “The 41-year-old Virgin who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and felt Super Bad about it” parody, but hasn’t done any movies since.
“I don’t have anything planned for TV or movie stuff yet,” said Villasenor.
She has done voice impressions of Barbara Walters, Natalie Portman, Miley Cyrus, Kathy Griffin, Owen Wilson and many more in her performances. Her favorite is Owen Wilson.
“I will definitely be sharing most of the voices when I come to Alaska for the show,” she said. “I look forward to performing at a place I’ve never been and I will warm everyone up with my comedy.”
Marcus and Melissa will be performing in Room 150 of the UAA Fine Arts Building on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free for students taking at least six credits and $10 for the general public.