SNL anchor Jost entertains UNH crowds

By Ken Johnson
On April 22, 2014

  • Eighty-five year old philosophy professor, Duane Whittier, reminisces about his time as a UNH student, TNH music critic and philosophy professor. Greg Laudani/Staff
  • Cameron Johnson/Staff Students enjoyed a night of free comedy on Friday, April 19, that was headlined by Colin Jost (top) of Saturday Night Live. UNH’s Improv Anonymous (bottom, from a previous performance) and Sierra Katow of Harvard University opened for Jost. Cameron Johnson/Staff

Kicking off the Easter weekend for students who stayed on campus, the Memorial Union Building offered a night of free comedy, headlined by Saturday Night Live cast member Colin Jost

At 7 p.m., students started lining up to guarantee admission into the free event that started at 9 p.m. When the doors to the Granite State Room opened on April 18, the line stretched all the way to the Strafford Room. According to Dave Zamansky, assistant director of the Memorial Union Building, approximately 250 people attended the show.

Kara Larochelle, a junior at the front of the line, said that she arrived at 7 p.m. for the snow. Hannah Coyle, a senior, said, "SNL is the best." She joined Larochelle around 7:30 p.m. for the show. Maggie Dana, a senior, arrived around 7:15 p.m. "I've watched SNL all the time so I thought it would be cool to come," Dana said. 

The night kicked off with the University of New Hampshire's own Improv Anonymous. The improvisational group performed three skits: Day in the Life, where they acted out the day of one of the students in attendance; Half Life, where one skit was performed several times with the amount of time allotted to the skit was reduced by half each time; and Challenge.

Immediately following Improv Anonymous was the opening stand-up comic, Sierra Katow. Katow is a sophomore at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and has been performing stand-up on and off for about three years. She said she started performing stand-up in high school. Katow has also performed shows in the Los Angeles area. While attending college she performs in the Boston area and at Harvard University, and occasionally does other college shows.

"I was just really lucky that Colin asked me to open for him tonight," Katow said. "This is very exciting for me. I don't normally do this."

After Katow, Jost took the stage for his stand-up routine. Jost became a featured cast member on Saturday Night Live on March 1, taking over Weekend Update for Seth Meyers. Jost isn't new to SNL; he has been writing for the show since 2005 and has been the co-head writer since 2012. 

Jost's stand-up wasn't a rehash of SNL gags. In fact, the only part that related to SNL was a piece on SNL sketches that couldn't be aired. This is the same skit that Zamansky saw that originally interested him in bringing Jost to UNH. Jost said that he keeps his stand-up separate from SNL

The entire show ran just short of 70 minutes, and after the show Jost remained outside the Granite State Room talking with students who attended the show and letting them take pictures with him. Katow also remained in the same area talking with students.

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