Waxing Poetic with Comedic

But are entertainers willing to make the most of their performance in spite of a small audience? On Friday, Feb 16 Billings North Lounge, slam poet and comic Mike McGee made friends with a small crowd of mostly Program Board and Department of Student Life employees, sharing familiar and offbeat idiosyncrasies of his life. McGee grabbed control, unlike some slam poets and comedians who run circles around the stage, transforming his causal speaking voice into a bold, Shakespearean powerhouse, uttering provocative wit and hilarious one-liners. 20 minutes into his performance, McGee thanked a crew member in the audience for arranging the sound set, then jumped off stage declaring that one of the best things about performing in front a small audience is that he doesn’t have to use a microphone. “I want to figure out why people laugh, I want to get know my audience,” McGee said, in a “time out” from one of his stories.McGee’s desire to get to know his audience on a personal level is a reflection of a burning desire to understand life at large. His philosophical and humorous rants range from why Jesus is consistently misinterpreted in film to why Jim Henson’s Muppets are always happy (hint: it involves a risqu?? sexual position.) “I’m a big man stuffed with literary stuffing,” McGee said. McGee certainly left his pleasantly satisfied audience craving a second helping, as discussion after the show among the Student Life staff suggested a future booking. Despite all the empty chairs, McGee admirably broke the wall between performer and audience member. His performance might serve as an indication to the Program Board staff that low student attendance should not be perceived as a problem.