“I have a conspiracy about conspiracies — I think they’re all made up by the companies that sell red string and corkboards.”
That quip from Jeremy Kaplowitz, ‘15, was just one of the many jokes that drew laughs from the audience at last Friday’s “Lizard People of New York” comedy show hosted by Bing Stand Up.
BU alumni and former members of the on-campus comedy club, Kaplowitz and Mike Amory, ‘14, returned to Binghamton University to perform a stand-up routine and read from a script made for TV that they wrote. The show was in Lecture Hall 10 and included additional performances by Christian Macaluso, a member of Bing Stand Up and a senior majoring in English, and Lyla Cerulli, the president of Bing Stand Up and a senior double-majoring in psychology and classical and Near Eastern studies.
The show’s title, originated from the Facebook page “Lizard People of New York,” which Kaplowitz started in the summer of 2014 as a parody of the popular “Humans of New York” page. Now Amory and Kaplowitz do a monthly comedy show together in Brooklyn called ”Lizard People Live.” The routine they did at BU on Friday was similar to their “Lizard People Live” routine, but with a few Binghamton-specific jokes added in.
“I think the stats when we were here said something like Binghamton is the second-most obese city in the country, fourth-most depressed,” Amory said. “But I think my time here might’ve tipped the scales of those numbers.”
Amory, who was a founder of Bing Stand Up in 2012, gave the first individual performance of the night. His routine was mostly based around self-deprecating humor, with material focused on topics like his weight and mental health. After the show, he revealed that he gets inspiration for his jokes by starting an internal dialogue with himself.
“[I’ll write my jokes] by having fake conversations in my head, there’s sort of like an inner-Mike voice that just starts orating to no one,” Amory said.
Amory’s jokes were especially personal in nature, but he said that stand-up performances in general can be this way.
“It’s a very personal art form to do, there’s no barrier between you and the audience,” Amory said.
The next comedian, Macaluso, drew his material from politics and history, with a few pop culture references thrown in. Macaluso said that hearing people laugh at his jokes is a validating experience.
“The feeling of getting up there and just having people actually laugh at the things that you think are funny is really wonderful,” Macaluso said.
Cerulli was the second and final BU student performance of the night. Her routine, like Amory’s, was filled with personal anecdotes coupled with self-deprecating jokes.
The final stand-up performance of the night was from Kaplowitz, who joked about situations he’s been in and conversations he’s had with friends, family and his long-term girlfriend. After the show, he explained that many of his jokes come organically from conversations.
“A lot of my jokes come from saying something funny in a conversation, writing it down and then developing it later,” Kaplowitz said.
Kaplowitz and Amory agreed that one of the best parts of doing stand-up is the connection with an audience.
“We’re talking about our real lives and people are connecting to it and that’s awesome,” Kaplowitz said.
After the stand-up portion of the night, Kaplowitz, Amory and a few Bing Stand Up members read a pilot script of “Lizard People of New York” for the audience. The script was written by Kaplowitz and Amory, who read the roles of Gary and Philip, two shape-shifting lizard aliens residing in Brooklyn and trying to make livings as artists. The script had a wide range of humor, from puns, to dark comedy, to politics.
“I thought [the script] was really funny,” said Kayla Jimenez, a sophomore majoring in business administration.
The pair performs in Brooklyn on the third Saturday of every month, at the Tender Trap club in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.