Ben Kaufman: 'Some College Punk' gears up for live comedy album

(Photo of Ben Kaufman courtesy of Daniel Nguyen) (Photo of Ben Kaufman courtesy of Dustin Nguyen)

The notion of standing on a stage in front of an audience while sharing intimate details about one’s self for the sake of inducing laughter does all but disconcert creative writing senior Ben Kaufman.

While the mere idea strikes fear in most, the stand-up comedian at ASU actually embraces this apprehension with nothing more than a microphone and his voice.

With his upcoming live comedy album, titled “Some College Punk,” Kaufman aims to show that behind the veil of every well-crafted joke is a cognition as to why that joke made you laugh hysterically.

Early in his adolescence, Kaufman quickly discovered comedy as a means to bring joy to those around him.

Comedy luminaries like Jon Stewart and Christopher Titus inspired Kaufman to begin considering comedy as a career rather than just a simple avocation.

“Jon Stewart and Christopher Titus are the two main guys I look up to in comedy," he added. "Christopher Titus is by far my favorite comedian and easily the comedian that I look up to the most."

In his freshman year at ASU, Kaufman joined the comedy club, “Stand Up vs. The World." Here he began to sharpen his stand-up efficiency while also being a mentor and assistant director of the club. Fast-forward four years later, and the 22-year-old comedian is ready to hit the stage for his first live comedy album.

When asked about the title of the album, Kaufman recalls a specific open mic night.

“I immediately realized that I was always the youngest person in the room," he said. "I was about to do a set at this bar one night and the guy who went on before told me to go home because I’m just some college punk.”

In fact, Kaufman’s style of comedy incorporates humor specifically designed for the young college demographic. Contemporary trends such as popular smartphone apps like Tinder and Snapchat are essential for Kaufman to be able to relate to his audience.

“I try to market myself to people my age and not pander to the over-25 crowd which is the more of the traditional age range for most stand up routines," he said. "I think part of that is because I want to people to relate to my jokes."

In addition to being relatable, the young comedian also stresses the importance of sparking thought within his audience.

“My goal is to make you laugh and to make you think immediately afterwards," Kaufman said. "I want you to look behind the joke and ask yourself, 'Why did that joke make me laugh?'”

The live recording of “Some College Punk” will take place on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the turquoise room of Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. Like the comedy album itself, the night of hilarity will be free of charge for everyone in the audience.

Disclaimer: The show contains adult themes and strong language.

Reach the reporter at zmoranno@asu.edu or follow @thezackarymoran on Twitter.

 

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