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ULV alumnus takes on stand-up

Facing a tough crowd, Jack Cunningham still manages to extract a few laughs Tuesday at the Bulldog Pub in Upland. A 2009 graduate of the University of La Verne, Cunningham still finds a passion in comedy and continues to work on it in his spare time./photo by Christopher Guzman

Facing a tough crowd, Jack Cunningham still manages to extract a few laughs Tuesday at the Bulldog Pub in Upland. A 2009 graduate of the University of La Verne, Cunningham still finds a passion in comedy and continues to work on it in his spare time./photo by Christopher Guzman

Jose Hernandez
Staff Writer

Jack Cunningham, a University of La Verne alumnus, performed a stand-up comedy set last Thursday at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, raising laughs with his jokes about politics, his own personal observations, and everyday situations that the common person encounters.

Cunningham’s hilarious set ended as he shared a story about his grandmother locking her windows and entering a stage of paranoia due to a child predator in the neighborhood.

The crowd roared with laughter as Cunningham expressed how much happier and less cranky she would be if the child molester, whose target would not probably be a grandmother, got a hold of her.

Cunningham’s stand-up was loaded with references to everyday situations such as grocery shopping, Mac computer use and even his first gig as a comedian during which he ran out of the building, straight to his car after an onlooker’s threatening outburst.

“I do political jokes and do some smart stuff and also do some awkward, gross stuff like the joke about the grandma being abused by a child molester,” Cunningham said.

The political science major graduated in the spring of 2009 from the University of La Verne and had previously run for Ontario City Council.

Cunningham currently pursues comedy while working at a law firm, and is trying to decide what his future holds in both the political and comedic fields.

“I have been going back and forth on whether or not I want to pursue further education in politics or if its even relevant in order for me to be a viable employee in politics,” Cunningham said.

“I thought why not give this comedy thing a shot and see how it goes, and it just feels right,” he added.

Thursday evening he presented a new set of jokes that had the audience of about 45 people laughing throughout the performance.

“I was doing a bunch of new stuff so it’s always rough because you’re not always sure how to phrase stuff, but I felt good about it,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham has only been performing stand-up since May of last year.

“Comedy is kind of a weird thing because you’re up there by yourself,” Cunningham said.

“So it’s good and bad at the same time in that you have nobody else behind you so it makes it nerve racking,” he said.

“But at the same time it’s what you want it to be because you have complete control over it.”

Although the nerves still appear, Cunningham is not necessarily new to comedy.

He recalls feeling like he has been a comedian since he was a little kid with his witty remarks.

“I like the fact that his comedy is very relatable and he picks topics that are what I deal with on a daily basis,” said audience member Christine Liszewski.

“The topic of his jokes are very common place, but he always brings a new perspective on them,” said Liszewski.

“There are times when I will be doing something and it’ll make me think of a joke that Jack has done before.”

“I can see him improving with time and attracting a bigger audience,” said audience member Monique Avila.

Jack’s comedic style is inspired by the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield and Patton Oswalt.

He says that he is not trying to be like them.

Cunningham’s performances can also be found posted on YouTube.

Jose Hernandez can be reached at jose.hernandez3@laverne.edu.

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