BY JASON PINTO – STAFF WRITER
The Norton Center presented one of its most anticipated shows with the comedy duo of Howie Mandel and Nick Cannon on Friday, September 24.
Nick Cannon opened the show with a much different look and coarser filter than most are used to seeing him with. Nick almost immediately dismissed a request by the theatre to keep the show PG-13 for Family Weekend and proceeded to move through many different controversial topics for his comedy. His act was propelled forward by his energetic delivery and comfort in front of a crowd. He brought back a game from his MTV show Wild ’n Out, “Five Words,” where he took words from the audience and improvised a rap on the spot, which I believe was his most impressive display of the night.
Some of his minor riffs jabbed at the demographic of Danville and Kentucky, but he also exposed his former marriage to Mariah Carey and difficult past, which atoned for these insensitive remarks and stuck to his professed theme of openness. The end of his time was characterized by a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement where he used an analogy of animal conservation to show that the term “Black Lives Matter” does not imply all lives do not matter.
Nick showed a different side of himself than he presents on America’s Got Talent. He felt genuine demonstrating his knack for comedy. Howie Mandel took the stage next and was met with much excitement by the audience. Howie is quite famous for his career in comedy, television personality, and for being the celebrity face of OCD. Experience in comedy was evident quite early into his performance. He had superb delivery and a unique awkwardness that made his jokes resonate with the audience.
Howie’s act consisted of more anecdotal and ironic humor than Nick’s. Several of his stories demonstrated his ability to have a different perspective on the minutia of daily life. He embraces his awkwardness and finds humor in even the most unlikely places. He, like Nick, picked a few people and inconveniences to be the targets of his quips. Even DPS officer Julie Wheeler was questioned because Howie thought the amount of Norton Center staff on hand was unnecessary and a resident DPS officer was too much.
Howie’s most memorable moment was when he demonstrated a certain funny voice he learned how to do when he was eleven years old and choking on a piece of cake. Howie has defined a comic as someone who does things funny and a comedian as someone who says funny things. These distinctions separated Howie and Nick, but they came together to produce a fantastic show for Centre College. Sophomore Patrick Leahey said, “It was a well delivered performance that had everyone laughing!” Overall, it was a unique way to top off Centre’s Family Weekend 2016.