Laughter filled Friends Hall as comedian Marc LaMotte graced the stage of Tuesday Night Live with a performance described by many as witty, silly and filled with brassy humor that had the audience guffawing.
More than 50 students came out and enjoyed the performance as well as Chinese take-out provided by the .College Programming Board.
“There was never a dull moment, and I was laughing honestly the entire hour he was there," said sophomore Jamie Lee. "I loved all the crazy stories he told us.”
LaMotte, who is from Maryland, said he never thought he would get to tell jokes for a living.
“I never had any intention of becoming a comedian,” said LaMotte.
“I’m very appreciative if anyone pays me to do what I do, but I just assumed I would get a real job.”
LaMotte said he he began performing at small open-mics when he was in college, doing it just for fun and to be “the funny guy on campus.”
“There wasn’t really anything more than that,” he insisted good-naturedly.
But then, after he graduated and got his masters degree and began working at the University of Georgia as a student advisor, one of his good friends suggested he participate in a comedy contest that was in town. Reluctantly he agreed and found himself winning round after round until he ended up winning the whole thing. That, he said, led to bigger gigs and opportunities that guided him to his success today.
“It’s very cool,” LaMotte said, “but I am also very aware it can end at any time. I try to enjoy it as much as I can, but I am totally prepared to go back to real life at some point.”
Until “real life” hits, LaMotte said he really enjoys performing at colleges because students are appreciative of his act.
Sam Schwartz, junior and On-Campus Programmer for the CPB, agreed that all of the students had a great time with LaMotte.
“My favorite thing about CPB's TNLs is that it gives students the opportunity to escape any stress of classes and have an hour to two hours of just enjoying themselves and laughing with friends and fellow students," Schwartz said. "I liked that the comedian got the audience involved a little and really just tried to make everyone laugh and have a good time.”
LaMotte also enjoyed his visit to Ramapo, and complimented the audience on how “nice” everyone was.
“First thing I will say right off the bat is that your campus is awesome,” LaMotte said.
At one point, since the show was going so well, he pulled a shocking trick that had the audience in loud hoots but also nervous snickers – he placed a call to the President of Ramapo College, Dr. Peter Mercer.
“I purposely try to get the president’s number at colleges, and so many people freak out, but I’ve never once had any school have a problem with it. I’ve had presidents actually call me the next day!”
He went on to explain, “For every show where I feel like it’s gone at least okay, I purposely call the president and leave a message telling them I had a good time.”
Jackie Garrison, sophomore, said, “I thought he was really funny and had a lot of energy on stage. My favorite part was when he left President Mercer a voicemail.”
“I don’t think you have to have a purpose to be a comedian. What’s wrong with just being silly, and making people laugh?” LaMotte joked.
To aspiring students who are looking to perform comedy as well, or for any student in general, he gives this advice: “You just gotta get out and do it. It’s just like anything else, it’s no different from any sport or if you’re studying for anything. You just gotta find what you like talking about and figure out how to present it to an audience.”
“When it works,” he said, “it’s probably the best feeling in the world. When it’s not, it will seriously make you question if you want to do it anymore. But I think, the longer you do it, the more you build up a tough skin. If it doesn’t work, you kinda just blow it off and move on to the next one.”
LaMotte wowed the majority of audience with his humor, humility and encouraging mentorship, and left students smiling from ear to ear.