Last Thursday over Zoom, the Binghamton University Alumni Association hosted an interactive comedy event featuring comedian and alumnus Avi Liberman, ‘93. Over 100 alumni and current students tuned in to have a laugh and take a break from their day. Because this year’s comedy show was held virtually, alumni and students from all over the world were able to join in on the fun. Viewers from both coasts got the chance to enjoy Liberman’s jokes and conversations in real-time.
Liberman is a popular comedian who has performed at the Laugh Factory and on shows such as “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” among many others. Prior to being a comedian, he attended BU as a political science major. After graduation, he worked in the educational system for some time before becoming a comedian. On Thursday, he hosted the show all the way from Greece, at his local time of 2 a.m., which added an extra element of fun. Liberman used a combination of current events and life stories to get the crowd going. This comedy show differed from those in years past, and so did the jokes — Liberman was able to make light of the coronavirus, lockdown and the current state of politics. During the show, many of the viewers expressed that they had come in search of a break from the seriousness of the world right now.
Over Zoom, Liberman brought some of the viewers on to have a conversation, poking fun at one of the alumni’s Zoom name, which was labeled “Ipad #5” by asking if they were an “undercover agent.” He asked the viewers if any of them had worked in the educational system, referencing how he had done so for two years but could not imagine doing it any longer. Continuing the bit, Liberman asked about snow days, homework and whether the teachers had ever had any really terrible children in their classes. His conversations with viewers gave the show a sense of lightheartedness and normalcy, something that is much needed in times like these.
Liberman continued by speaking to members of the Zoom audience about airplanes and their experiences with and knowledge of them. He talked about traveling and how difficult it can be, especially when going to a new country. One experience Liberman mentioned was a trip to Israel, where he was born. When arriving at the airport, Liberman — a dual citizen — switched from an American passport to an Israeli one and was immediately questioned by the guards. He replied to this by saying he would just have to build a tunnel underneath the border and crawl through. The guards did not find his remarks funny, but the crowd certainly did. Viewers all over the screen began to crack up.
As the show went by, it was clear that the energy of the crowd had been lifted, and many people were in good spirits. While many of Liberman’s jokes had to do with the difficult facts of life, he was able to put a comedic spin on them and turn around an otherwise bleak situation. Liberman’s comedy show was a much-needed escape from the world, allowing viewers to reset and have a laugh. Alumni from all over the country were able to laugh with their spouses and families while eating dinner, doing homework or going about their daily lives. Liberman offered them an hourlong hiatus from the usual monotony of life and the current state of the world around them.