Comedian makes student attendance butt of joke

IUS Horizon

Tracey Ashely, comedian, performs a comedy skit for students in The Commons on Nov. 15.

On her tour of 100 colleges, Tracey Ashley, comedian, visited IU Southeast on Nov. 15 after flying into Albany, Ind., and driving a total of five hours to get to campus.

“I just rode in a car for five hours, just drove all this way, and there are 22 people here,” Ashley said.

Ashley said her acts are just about her life. However, the theme of the event seemed to be more about the size of the crowd that actually showed up for the event.

Ashley’s friend, Gene Renfroe, comedian, opened for her with a couple cracks at the student attendance.

“What’s up New Albany,” Renfroe said, “is this the population at this school?”
When describing a previous experience, Renfroe said, “It was a real big show,” pausing later to add, “not like tonight.”

Ashley’s show lasted a little more than an hour and was held outside in The Commons, instead of where it was originally scheduled, in the Hoosier Room.

About midway through, Ashley was interrupted by a cafeteria worker pushing a cart through the area. Ashley responded to the incident by calling the worker out.

“Just roll that right on through,” Ashley said. “Show’s going great anyway, down to 21 people now.”

Ashley said it was all in good fun, and the students seemed to laugh right along with her.

“I have a smart mouth,” Ashley said.

Among poking fun at IUS student involvement, Ashley also poked fun at herself.

“I love when people tell me I have two first names,” Ashley said. “Trust me, I know this.”

Ashley also went on to announce her favorite word, “titties.”

“You can make anyone laugh with that word,” Ashley said. “Next time you’re late for class, try it. Just walk by your professor and whisper the word, ‘titties.’”

When Ashley found out a Sociology of Humor class, taught by Sam Sloss, professor of sociology, was there to watch her, they too had to come up with their own four-minute stand-up, and she was eager to give advice.

“Talk about yourself,” Ashley said. “It’s the easiest thing to do. Don’t make up anything because they can tell when you’re lying.”

Jennifer Evans, advertising senior, was one of Sloss’ students who attended the show. Evans said she thinks having comedy shows on campus is a great idea.

“I hadn’t heard of her before, but I loved the show,” Evans said. “She took heavy topics and made them funny.”

Ashley has been performing comedy since 2000.

“I’ve wanted to do this since I was a kid,” Ashley said. “The best advice anyone ever gave me was from my Aunt Jimmy. She said ‘Do what makes you happy.’”