Club & Greek

NBC’s “Stand Up for Diversity” Comedy Show

SAB Brought Comedians Rob Haze and Arvin Mitchell to Pollak Theatre

Stand-up comedians Rob Haze and Arvin Mitchell created laughs amongst approximately 100 students at NBC’s “Stand Up for Diversity” comedy show on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 8 – 9:30 pm in Pollak Theatre. The free event was hosted by the Student Activities Board (SAB).

“I seriously couldn’t stop laughing,” said Kristen Tullo, junior bio-chemistry and advanced chemistry double major. “If SAB hosts more events like this, I will definitely go. I didn’t realize how fun some events can be.”

Haze took the stage for the first 45 minutes, cracking jokes about celebrities such as 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, and Miley Cyrus’ infamous “twerking.” He also poked fun at New Jersey drivers and their infamous road rage, communal showers in college dormitory buildings and intoxicated women.

Haze, an Atlanta native, began his stand up career while at the University of Georgia, where he performed at talent shows, pageants, and step shows. After winning the Athens Last Comic Standing contest, Haze furthered his career by performing at various lounges.

According to, “There are no racial or age limits to Rob [Haze]’s comedy as he likes to bring people together rather than tear them apart.”

Haze’s comedy is full of word play and pop culture references.

“I wish [Haze] had a more fluid performance,” said Tullo, “but otherwise it was very enjoyable. He had me cracking up on several occasions.”

Mitchell appeared once Haze concluded and he immediately had students laughing at his jokes about airports, college classes, and at each other in the audience. 

Jonathon Nunez, transfer student from Middlesex County College, said, “Mitchell was absolutely hilarious. He was engaged with us [the audience] the entire time and there was not a dull moment in his performance. I got a serious abdominal workout from laughing at his stand-up routine!”

Mitchell’s comedic skills debut was on BET’s Coming to the Stage in 2003. This St. Louis born performer has appeared on television on more than one occasion since then and has travelled the comedy club circuit in New York and Los Angeles with outlets including The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, and Comic Strip Live.

SAB paid and booked the performers at last year’s National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Megan McGowan, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations, said, “When we went to NACA, the five students who came along with me from SAB thought that this was hands down their favorite performance.”

McGowan said there are approximately one hundred different top-notch performers doing the college circuit across the country at this convention, including performers from shows like “America’s Got Talent.”

“To have one event at NACA stand out says a lot, and the SAB representatives really wanted this one,” added McGowan.

Joe Pagnatto, Vice President of Finance and Administration for SAB, was deemed responsible for budgeting and selecting this performance to be featured at the University.

This is NBC’s tenth consecutive year presenting Stand-Up NBC. Each year, NBC selects three to five cities across the country and holds auditions showcasing the top diverse talents from those areas. At the end of each search, comedians are brought back to Los Angeles to perform at NBCUniversal. Finalists have the opportunity to perform at NACA and get invited to join the NBC Stand-Up for Diversity College Tour.

This comedy show was publicized through social media outlets including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as through email. It grew attention among freshmen especially because it was part of “The S.H.A.D.O.W. Program” which encourages first year students to attend events of six categories: service and leadership, hawk pride, academic resources, diversity, organizations and involvement, and wellness. First year students who attend these events are entered into a prize drawing at the end of the semester.

“Casino Night” on Saturday, Oct. 5, is the next event hosted by SAB. Students, along with their relatives during Family Weekend, are invited to join the club’s members and mimic the environment of a casino by playing card games and entering prize raffles.

SAB encourages students to become involved and help plan events like Stand-Up NBC and “Casino Night.” Weekly meetings for general members are held on Wednesdays at 2:30 pm on the third floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center in the Carol Afflito Conference Room.

PHOTO TAKEN by Brianna McCabe