Comedian Ben Bailey’s unique style of combining rambling speeches, strange side effects and conversation with the audience entertained the UAA community Nov. 5 in the Student Union Den. Bailey persuaded the audience to enjoy his bizarre style, managing to evoke the biggest laughs when he made the least sense.
“It was strange, he kind of just rambled on, talking about nothing, stopping in the strangest places for no reason and making jokes that should not have been funny, but somehow he made it funny,” said audience member Kalian Debens. “I found myself laughing when he made a stupid joke, or just paused to stare at the audience,” she said.
Most of the time Bailey had a voice and manner that portrayed him in a serious manner, thus making it all the more humorous when he would suddenly yell into the mike or glare out at the audience, his tongue flickering in and out. Yet, it was Bailey’s ongoing conversation with a 10-year-old boy, Conrad, sitting in the front row that stole the show.
Beginning with a simple interjection from an audience member Bailey began a long series of jokes, playing off Conrad’s responses. Most of the people in the audience could see that the responding person was a young boy, but it turned out that Bailey could not see him with the spotlight in his eyes. Having given an R-rated routine up to this point, it was hysterical to find Bailey suddenly insulting the boy, his parents, and himself after he found out who he had been talking to. People seemed to enjoy this little unexpected complication and Bailey’s unsuccessful attempts to censor himself now knowing he had a child in the audience.
“When he was raging on that poor kid and didn’t even know it, it was great,” said sophomore Cody Hack. “When Bailey finally found out who he was talking to he turned it into a great running joke that he used to great effect through the rest of the night. But you had to wonder about what that kid’s parents must have thought — the show wasn’t exactly PG.”
Bailey also enjoyed pointing out the foibles so common to us all, poking fun at phrases people use and stupid mistakes people make. It was primarily by pointing out things we all do, but would never admit to, that Bailey managed to draw bouts of laughter from his audience.
The strangest part of the night was the fact that if any audience member stepped back and looked at the jokes logically, they had no reason to laugh; much of what Bailey said should not have been funny, yet just the same it was. Even at the start of the show when the microphone would not work Bailey used the malfunction as a topic to entertain the audience until the problem had been solved.
From technical problems to interjecting boys into strange antics, Bailey brought laughs throughout the night. It seems such an unusual comedian who is logically anything but funny would disappoint, but Bailey exceeded expectations with his unique sense of humor.