Big laughs at LOL@UIC

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Opener Barry Brewer joked about flying in coach and shared stories of living on Chicago’s South Side. — Photo: Jenny Fontaine

About 650 UIC students, faculty and staff laughed their hearts out Thursday at a comedy event that got real, raw and relatable really fast.

The third annual LOL@UIC event welcomed opener Barry Brewer and headliner Whitney Cummings, both multitalented stand-up comedians.

“LOL is great,” said Shaheryar Madni, a senior in biology.

“The anticipation was really high,” added Christian-Nathaniel Matthews, a freshman in the College of Business Administration. Madni and Matthews waited outside for three hours before the event started to get front-row seats.

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Whitney Cummings headlined the free comedy show for the UIC community. — Photo: Jenny Fontaine

Brewer, a Chicago native, is known for his appearances on Comedy Central’s “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand Up Revolution,” BET’s “Comic View” and TvOne’s “Who’s Got Jokes.” He also wrote and directed films titled “The Parking Lot” and “The Perfekt Plan,” a film he starred in and executive produced.

“I’m glad to be here,” he said.

Brewer talked about what it’s like to be a black male, joked about flying in coach and shared his experience of living on the South Side.

Whitney Cummings took the stage after, sporting joggers with imprints of red-lipstick kisses and a UIC sweatshirt.

“I know this is like black tie for you guys,” she teased.

She was forced to wear her pajamas after accidentally leaving her luggage at the airport.

But the laid-back attire seemed to fit what students liked the most about Cummings — the “non-filtered version of her comedy,” said Fatima David, a senior in biology.

“She’s hilarious,” said Daniel Miranda, a senior in criminal justice.

Cummings was excited for her performance, too.

“Chicago’s my favorite city,” she said. “Actually, the sitcom that I did on NBC for two seasons [“Whitney”] is based in Chicago because I love it.”

She started her career as a comedian in 2004, appearing on the E! show “Chelsea Lately,” the “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” and the Comedy Central roasts of Donald Trump, Joan Rivers and David Hasselhoff. In 2011, her comedy series “Whitney” was picked up by NBC and a sitcom she co-created,  “2 Broke Girls,” began airing on CBS.

At her LOL@UIC performance, she covered topics like social media, birth control methods, selfie addictions and relationships. She invited students to turn around in their seats and hold up their phones to take a selfie with her.

“I like you guys, I like this vibe,” she said.

But she noted that students should brace themselves for life after graduation.

“I just want to help manage your expectations,” she said.

Cummings left on a good note and shared some words from the wise: clean up your social media and “work hard, but work smart,” she said.

“When you work, really work, and when you don’t work, really don’t work,” she said. “Even though you can work all the time, that doesn’t mean you should.”

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