MTV’s “Girl Code” fan favorites Nicole Byer and Carly Aquilino performed a stand-up comedy show for over 200 audience members on Friday, April 13. The show was sponsored by the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB).
Byer and Aquilino both appeared on the hit MTV show, a 2013 spinoff of “Guy Code,” which featured a variety of stand-up comedians and actresses as they discussed common female experiences.
Like the content of the show, Byer and Aquilino’s set featured heavy topics including modern relationships, stereotypes, body positivity and racism. Their unapologetic comedy showcased their strong senses of self.
Leisa Rockelein, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said she was inspired by their confidence.
“I loved seeing two strong and successful female comedians who own their identities and incorporated them into their acts,” Rockelein said.
Byer, who now hosts the Netflix bake-off show “Nailed It,” focused her performance on the everyday encounters she said have built her confidence.
One of her stories was about her pre-comedian job at Lane Bryant. Byer told a story about a customer who was shopping for his wife; when describing her size, he compared his wife to a tree trunk, and then to Byer herself. According to Byer, the remarks the customer made did not diminish her self-esteem and instead motivated her to love her body more.
“When a girl says she’s fat, someone will usually follow that with, ‘You’re not fat, you’re beautiful!’ But truly, you are fat and beautiful,” Byer said.
Vicky Kim, the treasurer for Bing Stand-Up and a junior majoring in electrical engineering, opened the show with a set based on life as a student.
“What I’ve learned in college so far is that long-distance relationships are never worth it,” Kim said. “College is the time to explore your sexuality. If you’re tied down, you’ll never learn that you like being tied up.”
Kim was followed by Aquilino, who shared personal anecdotes ranging from her breakups to online dating.
Aquilino, who starred on “Girl Code” and “Girl Code Live,” remarked on how being single is difficult when everyone else is in long-term relationships or getting married. She addressed her breakup, which happened seven days after she got engaged, which she said made her realize that relationships are something you should cherish.
“You have to cherish those little fights you have,” she said. “Like the ones where you wake up in the morning and he’s still sleeping. You turn over and you see his stupid face. The entire day, your anger just keeps building until he comes home and asks how you are. You say you’re fine — but I don’t know why men don’t understand that you’re never fine.”
Jillian Pizzuto, variety chair for the SAPB and a sophomore majoring in Spanish, said she would turn on MTV every day to watch “Girl Code,” and appreciated seeing Byer and Aquilino live.
“Back in 2013, when ‘Girl Code’ premiered, both of them really inspired me to pursue stand-up,” Pizzuto said. “Being able to get them here is a dream come true.”