The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 60.0°F | A Few Clouds

Name: Ronan K. McGovern G

Major/Area of study: Mechanical Engineering (Energy and Water Technologies)

Years you’ve done stand-up: 0.5

Years you’ve competed: 0

Favorite one-liner or joke from your set: Americans love the Irish accent, but they don’t understand what I’m saying.

Best experience doing stand-up: The second of the only two times I’ve done stand-up.

Worst experience doing stand-up: The first of the only two times I’ve done stand-up.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

Watching the King’s Speech. The time to drink 22 cups of tea.

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

Laughing. Silence.

Name: Xindi Song ’10

Major/Area of study: Biology

Years you’ve done stand-up: 0.5

Years you’ve competed: 0

Favorite one-liner or joke from your set: I left a bag of Sour Patch Kids out for too long, and by the time I got back to them, they were Sour Patch Adults.

Best experience doing stand-up: Getting to be a part of the competition on Thursday.

Worst experience doing stand-up: Bombing at a poet-centric open mic.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

Picking out my best jokes, memorizing them, doing open mics. I started preparing a couple weeks ago using the jokes that I’ve written in the past half year.

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

I’m looking forward to having fun on stage with the audience. The least? Well, let’s not talk about that. Hopefully it’ll be good!

Name: Paul G. Hlebowitsh ’11

Major/Area of study: Electrical Engineering

Years you’ve done stand-up: 1

Years you’ve competed: 0

Favorite one-liner or joke from your set: I wrote you a poem. Let me tell you what’s sonnet.

Best experience doing stand-up: My only stand-up routine.

Worst experience doing stand-up: My only stand-up routine.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

I’m just practicing my routine; nothing too exciting. A bunch of us are meeting to go over our sets later in the week.

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

What I’m most looking forward to is making someone laugh. What I’m least looking forward to is the chance this won’t happen.

Name: Michael T. Lin ’11

Major: Comparative Media Studies, Materials Science and Engineering

Years you’ve done stand-up: 3

Years you’ve competed: 1

Favorite one-liner: Whoever said it’s impossible to lick your own elbow clearly never owned a hacksaw.

Best experience doing stand-up: The first round of the NCCC last year. After the next-to-last punchline of my set, I looked down and saw a guy in the front row bent double over his table, laughing so hard he was slapping the tabletop. That was a pretty good feeling.

Worst experience doing stand-up: My first open mic. I was still getting the hang of microphone use, so no one could hear my set. Still, it’s hard to take yourself seriously as a comic until you’ve bombed at least once.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

Pretty much just practicing my jokes and the order they go in, although I’m playing around with my opener a bit. It’s only three minutes of jokes, so it’s not that hard to rememb— wait, did you say next Thursday? #&%$!!

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

I’m actually looking forward to hearing the other team. When you spend so much time thinking about your own material and how to structure it, it’s always a breath of fresh air to see how other comics approach their jokes. Not looking forward to when the top four of each team are announced — it’s nerve-wracking and kind of serious, and that’s no fun.

Name: Matthew R. Rodriguez ’11

Major/Area of study: Mechanical Engineering

Years you’ve done stand-up: 1.5

Years you’ve competed: 1

Favorite one-liner or joke from your set: I feel like MIT is kind of like a brothel. Because you go into it feeling pretty good. But about halfway through you’re like, “What am I doing? I could have paid much less to get screwed somewhere else.”

Best experience doing stand-up: Performing at the aquarium in front of all the freshmanz.

Worst experience doing stand-up: Performing at the aquarium with no real mic setup. Hard to get laughs when no one can hear you.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

Just locking down the timing of my set. I have my jokes that are tried and true. Now it’s just a matter of making sure that I don’t run out of time. It doesn’t take long considering I’ve done three-minute sets before.

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

Most: Performing at a real club!

Least: The snarky things my parents will say about my stand-up. They think they’re stand-up comics. Any way we can block their IP address from the site? Who am I kidding, I need the votes.

Name: Jacob S. Sharpe ’11

Major/Area of study: Physics

Years you’ve done stand-up: 2

Years you’ve competed: 1

Favorite one-liner or joke from your set: Boy, I need some analogy lessons like I need!

Best experience doing stand-up: Every time I’ve done the best I’ve ever done. Every time new material works.

Worst experience doing stand-up: Realizing that student audiences are forgiving, and that the real world was correct in thinking that my early material was mediocre.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

I’ve been performing as much as possible around Boston to get ready. I have been preparing for this moment since birth.

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

Most: Performing!

Least: For only three minutes!

Name: Vanessa C. Bowens ’12

Major/Area of study: Urban Studies and Planning

Years you’ve done stand-up: 1

Years you’ve competed: 1

Favorite one-liner or joke from your set: My sets are usually stories, so I don’t have any short jokes or one-liners.

Best experience doing stand-up: Making the MIT team last year. It was the very first time I’d performed.

Worst experience doing stand-up: I haven’t yet had a terrible experience doing stand-up.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

I already know what I’m going to perform, so I haven’t practiced too much. I usually just go over my set in front of a stopwatch so that I’m comfortable with the timing.

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

I’m looking forward to seeing if the Tufts team is actually talented. I’m nervous about which four comedians from our team will move on to the next round.

Name: William D. Drevo ’13

Major/Area of study: Computer Science

Years you’ve done stand-up: 1

Years you’ve competed: 1

Favorite one-liner or joke from your set:

1. I’m such a badass, I had a one-night stand with Susan Hockfield. Twice.

2. I’m such a badass, I once outclassed Donald Sadoway by wearing a tuxedo. Over my tuxedo.

3. I’m such a badass, I was raised by wolves who were raised by bears who were raised by other wolves who were shot by Sarah Palin.

(I actually made these up for Scott T. Landers ’13 for the SAE Date Auction and later decided to use them in a set.)

Best experience doing stand-up: Anytime someone laughs instead of cries.

Worst experience doing stand-up: I had a set that really ragged on BU. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that half the crowd was from BU. It actually went over pretty well considering, but it was still a little hostile.

What are you doing to prepare? How long have you prepared?

I’m glad you asked. I have to go prepare.

What are you looking forward to the most? The least?

I’m just looking forward to making MIT proud and taking Tufts down.