Small crowd, big laughs

Even though comedian Morgan Murphy has been featured on “Crank Yankers” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” it seemed that the party scene on “Thirsty Thursday” took precedence over giving decent stand-up comedy a chance. Only about 40 guests attended Murphy’s comedic performance at Billings Thursday night. Nevertheless, the UVM Program Board attempted to create an atmosphere in Billings similar to that of the Comedy Cellar in New York City. There were round tables with black or red tablecloths, candles ablaze next to pretzel bowls in the center, and a beverage list containing three “mocktails”: Shirley Temple, Sangria and Baby Bellini. Mr. Shopping, the opening band, was as a mix between jazz/rock/what is going on/experimental. The minor headaches passed just as Murphy took stage with a mocktail in hand and a bulky winter hat. “How’s everyone doing tonight? Me, I’m on my ninth mocktail, and I’m going crazy” Murphy said. One immediately notices her voice, distinctly similar to MTV’s “Daria” with its low drone that’s always set at the perfect pitch to enhance sarcasm. After a few jokes, Murphy commented on the new availability of Facebook to members of the non-college student public. “I think I’m going to join it, pretend I’m in college, and start leaving messages on people’s walls telling them to come to room 324 for Grey’s Anatomy.” Soon after, Murphy quipped that through her Myspace account she has realized that everyone in the world is part of a band. Discussing the value of personal appearance in her hometown of Los Angeles, Murphy said while working out at the gym, she “witnessed a woman lie about her age … to a treadmill.” She then went on to argue for the legitimacy of getting out of your car after hitting a dog and saying “Yo, why you all up in my grill, dog?” Surprisingly, Murphy was exceptionally talented when it came to keeping a straight face after delivering her punch lines. Her delivery was rapid, but the audience had time to exude rolls of laughter without having to worry about missing the next joke. Later, Murphy targeted a table of three UVM seniors sitting closest to the stage, asking them about their majors and future aspirations. One of the students revealed his desire to work for the border control, to which Murphy abruptly labeled him the “night-vision goggle immigrant catcher.” Murphy, who has earned a degree in English, said, “I discovered irony when I was seven years old, which is when my mom started beating me … with my own trophies. Confusing, right?” At one point, Murphy made a comment about environmentally safe vehicles, and the crowd clapped with approval. “No, electric cars don’t work. I was in the garage for 10 hours the other day trying to kill myself,” Murphy said. “Then the battery died. I was jealous.” Murphy was received well, at least by those who attended. “It was hilarious, even her voice was hilarious,” freshman Julia Ciccheti said. “It was a pretty small turn-out, I felt bad.”