Loud bursts of laughter could be heard from the food court of the Oswego State Campus Center Wednesday night. An Atlanta-native, comedian Ronnie Jordan was brought in by Oswego State’s Student Association Programming Board to entertain students.
After being seen at a conference in Florida by SAPB Special Events Coordinator Tuqa Youssef, Jordan was booked to come to Oswego State. Jordan joked that he was on campus just because, “they booked me.”
The majority of the seats in the food court were filled; Jordan had a crowd of more than 80, along with people passing through the Campus Center stopping to listen to what he had to say. Jordan was named “Rookie of the Year” in 2001 by tied Uptown Comedy Corner in his hometown. According to his website ronniejordan.net, he has shared show dates with big name comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, Rickey Smiley and more. Last spring, he broke college touring records with shows at 102 colleges in 112 days in two regions.
Jordan has appeared on BET’s Comic View, Martin Lawrence Presents the 1st Amendment Stand-up, P. Diddy Presents Bad Boys of Comedy and is the host of Oomp Camp Live. He brings an energy to his performances that pours out into the audience.
“The check helps me bring the energy… I’m just kidding,” Jordan said. “I always feed off the crowd, you know. If it’s a dull crowd or if I can see that we got some chatty people I’ll do more of the call and response.”
He has a likeable personality on and off the stage. Jordan sold his own merchandise after the show and signed posters that SAPB used to advertise the event for audience members. Jordan claims that it’s not his energy that is the source for his entertaining performances.
“The energy of the crowd helps you out tremendously,” Jordan said. “It helps me out.”
The crowd was laughing continuously during the show. There were very few moments when someone in the audience was not laughing to tears, something that is important to Jordan.
“We like to hear laughs,” Jordan said. “They were laughing and they were going up because this room has such a big ceiling.”
Jordan said the high roof of the room made it difficult to gauge the audience and whether they were focused on him.
“We need approval, approval by smiles,” Jordan said.
Oswego State is one stop on his tour of colleges that he is doing through Auburn Moon Agency titled, “College Material Tour.”
“I was at Ithaca College last night, we try to book them close together,” Jordan said. He said he loves performing in upstate New York and loves Oswego after the short time he’s spent here.
“I love it man, the view of the water,” Jordan said of Oswego. “I get booked in Upstate New York quite a bit, a lot of schools like me because you guys aren’t sensitive as far as topics….and I’m not even dirty or anything, it’s just like we don’t have handcuffs up here.”
Jordan’s show included stories of his personal life and stories that he has heard and found on the Internet. He talked about problems any student can relate to, from buying and selling books to privacy with a roommate. He held little back, without concern for making audience members uncomfortable.
“Administration realizes you guys are students and you guys live…so it’s easier to do a show,” Jordan said. “You’re relaxed, like playing in your own gym.”
The freedom of his show helped keep the crowd entertained. His topics ranged from the presidential election to the Ohio bus driver who dealt an uppercut to a rowdy rider. Jordan is a creative individual and he shows it well.
“I create a lot of stuff,” Jordan said. “The bus driver uppercut, all that stuff, that’s new. I did all that tonight.”
Jordan said that he’s always trying out new things. He knows how to control an audience well, with the ability to get them back with him if they suddenly lose focus and are looking elsewhere.
“I can’t give away all of my secrets,” he said.
Jordan’s talents expand beyond his stand up comedy. He created a parody of YC’s “Racks” called “Snax on Snax.” The song is almost four and a half minutes long and features creative lyrics about unhealthy foods, something the up and coming comedian has been working against. He uses his weight as a source of material, saying he might break through the portable stage set up, referring to it as a ping-pong table. In the description in his video he says that he is trying to lose weight, and he announced during his performance that he has indeed lost weight.
Overall, Jordan provided a wonderful night full of laughter for the students of Oswego State. He is active in social media and encourages everyone to follow him on Twitter, @ronniejordan, and to visit his website ronniejordan.net, where you can find links to some of his work, as well as a shop that includes some of his merchandise. This rising star is sure to bring a great time to anyone who appreciates a good laugh.