The Student Association Programming Board (SAPB) announced on Tuesday evening that Canadian-American comedian DeAnne Smith is headlining the first comedy show of the semester.
Jillian Pizzuto, variety chair of SAPB and a junior majoring in Spanish, is excited to bring Smith to campus because of her growing popularity.
“DeAnne Smith is a name you’re definitely going to hear in the future so this is a show you don’t want to miss,” Pizzuto wrote in an email.
Pizzuto, who is also a member of Bing Stand-Up, is going to be opening for Smith’s tour in Binghamton, Ithaca and SUNY Cortland.
Smith is no stranger to upstate New York, as she was born in Endicott — a 15-minute drive away from the city of Binghamton — before moving to Montreal in 2004.
Smith first got into comedy when she was 11 years old, though quickly suppressed the dream for a more marketable career path. At 28 years old, she went to her first open mic night in Montreal and decided to decline her acceptance into an MFA writing program to pursue the path of comedy.
In 2008, she went on her first tour to debut her full-length solo stand-up show, which led to critical acclaim and her first win at the Sydney Comedy Festival’s Time Out Best Newcomer Award. Since then, she has traveled internationally on tours and appeared on television shows including “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “Last Comic Standing.”
Smith is most known for her viral Facebook and YouTube clip, “Straight Men, Step Your Game Up,” which racked up a total of 37 million views. The clip was taken during her stand-up routine at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2017. In the video, Smith, who has been dating a woman who has only dated guys before, explains how even the simplest tasks impress her partner.
“I just show her basic human decency and she loses her mind,” Smith said in the video. “Straight guys, I don’t know what you’ve been doing until now, but clearly it’s not enough.”
Critics often describe Smith’s comedic style as witty and smart, though Smith said that she doesn’t want to fit into one specific category.
“I’m very open onstage,” Smith said in a 2010 interview with AfterEllen.com. “I’ll hit on women in the audience; I talk about my relationship. I just am who I am. I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a ‘gay comic.’ I’m more interested in queering up the mainstream.”
Next January, Smith will be featured in her own live Netflix special along with fellow Canadian comedian Ivan Decker.
“I knew booking Deanne at this point in time would give a great opportunity for Binghamton students to see her perform,” Pizzuto wrote.
Previous SAPB Comedy Show acts include Nicole Byer, who currently hosts the Netflix show “Nailed It!” and worked on the reality show “Girl Code,” and Sasheer Zamata, who is a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member.
Smith will perform on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. in Lecture Hall 1. Admission is free for students.