Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown’s Funniest Human: New Setting, Same Comedy

Rohini Kudva/The Hoya

Taking the stage in Gaston Hall on Feb. 23 was the annual student comedy competition, Georgetown’s Funniest Human

Run by the student club Georgetown Program Board, Funniest Human gives nine students the chance at a prize — this year, according to emcee Isabel McHenry (CAS ’24), worth “$5,000 plus $130 minus $5,000” — and the opportunity to perform original comedy before an audience of Georgetown students, faculty and staff. This year was Funniest Human’s first performance in the 700-capacity Gaston Hall, doubling the capacity from last year’s event in the Intercultural Center (ICC) auditorium; even so, by the time the Gaston doors opened half an hour before the show was scheduled to begin, several hundred students were already in line. 

One first-year, four sophomores and four seniors competed, including representatives from the student comedy clubs GUerilla Improv, Sketch Comedy, GU Improv Association and the Georgetown Heckler. 

Previous Funniest Human competitor Stephen Purdum (CAS ’26) began the show with a broad set. While some comedians prefer to stick to a particular theme when they’re performing, Purdum covered quite a bit of ground in his set, including describing his qualifications for giving his middle school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech, his inability to swim and even venturing into the risky territory of criticizing the people who named St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for picking the patron saint of lost causes. Purdum garnered the most laughs, though, with his relatable account of the struggles of ordering food to campus. He described trying to direct delivery drivers as they start speaking in increasingly riddle-like phrases — Purdum offered “I am beneath that which is below” as one example — before they have been on campus so long they simply integrate into the Georgetown community.  

The next contestant was the only first-year student competing, Dori Rosenstrauch (CAS ’27). Rosenstrauch focused on her upbringing in Houston, including her years spent in a small, unconventional and at times dangerous one-room, all-glass Montessori school. Rosenstrauch also engaged the audience with the introduction of her “opp density theory”: although the number of students at Georgetown doesn’t change, the number of opps, slang for opponent, only increases, leading to frequent encounters with enemies. Rosenstrauch asked the audience to raise their hands if, from where they were sitting at the show, they could see an opp — about a whopping ⅓ of attendees did. 

Sophie Maretz (CAS ’26) was next up, jumping right into discussing her family dynamics, including her two brothers more than a decade her senior, who used to tickle her until she peed. When one attendee loudly whooped her solidarity with Maretz, Maretz instructed her peer to “stand strong.” She then described her experience of having crushes, telling anyone and everyone she encountered about her feelings within five minutes of starting to speak with them. If she hasn’t spoken to you yet about it — “Congratulations, it’s you!” 

As the audience continued laughing enthusiastically at Maretz’s set, David Edwards (CAS ’24) took the stage. Edwards described how his recent haircut, which he thought would make him appear less intimidating, only transformed him from a “probably impotent” Criminal Minds suspect to a “definitely impotent” Criminal Minds suspect. Edwards also described his struggle to eat less meat; he said he is embarrassed to purchase foods with names like “wings from a bird that never flew” and questioned why the alternative meat industry is “keeping secrets.” 

Murphy Bonner (CAS ’26) was the fifth comedian of the night, and he wasted no time in beginning his set about sexual education. Not only did he receive his high school sex-ed classes from a priest, but Bonner had to teach the subject in an uncomfortable experience that culminated in him being accused of pedophilia — possibly more than once. 

Following Bonner was comedy newcomer Nirvana Khan (SFS ’24). Khan’s set revolved around her poor romantic choices, which she compared to playing the mobile game Episode in real life. For those who might have worried that dunking on her exes in front of a crowd was in poor taste, Khan assured them that she didn’t sign any NDA.

Next, Zan Haq (SFS ’24) described his confusion about his race growing up. Haq joked that due to him checking the box beside different ethnicities while filling out official forms, the government would have great difficulty in finding him if he ever committed a crime. He also both lamented and celebrated his “student debt” — not just the money he owes in loans, but also the money he has borrowed from friends over the years and never repaid, ensuring they will never leave him and they will be lifelong friends. 

The penultimate contestant, Anna Dewey (CAS ’26), described her upbringing as an anxious spelling bee contestant in her Southern home state of Oklahoma and getting hit on by an elderly man at the airport. Dewey described the man’s striking resemblance to “SpongeBob’s parents,” drawing cackles from those in the audience familiar with the reference.

Finally, Dane Tedder (CAS ’24) criticized those who claim board and card games, particularly UNO, change them into different people, pointing out how absurd it would be if anyone tried to apply that logic to real life. Tedder also told the audience how much difficulty he had telling his girlfriend “I love you” for the first time. 

After all the comedians had finished their acts, the audience members got out their phones to vote on the four funniest, with Rosenstrauch, Maretz, Edwards and Tedder advancing to the next round of voting.

Another audience vote between the four semifinalists determined Maretz as the victor, with McHenry bringing out a large cardboard check and crowning her as Georgetown’s Funniest Human.

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