A steadily-growing crowd filled Ramapo’s H-wing auditorium, lured in by the signs picturing comedian Francisco Ramos. Prospective viewers were greeted with photos of a confident man on stage, microphone in hand, arm outstretched.
They were waiting for a stand-up routine, and with Ramos’s lineup, he was unlikely to disappoint. He’s the mind behind the HBO special “Entre Nos,” and Ramos continues to make appearances in well-known shows and movies like “Lady Dynamite,” “Shameless” and “Rio.”
Despite the visit, it was a stressful Tuesday for some students as Nov. 6 was election day, but comedy was there to relieve the pressure. Dan Sakumoto and Gabby Bok, two juniors on the College Programming Board, recounted their decision to choose Ramos.
“He’s funny, he’s also kind of young. I’m interested in what his bits are going to be,” Sakumoto said prior to his performance.
Bok, a new face on CPB, had never seen Ramos in action. She still shared Sakumoto’s interest in Ramos’s performance. “I think he’s going to be seasoned…He knows the crowd he’s drawing out.”
Students like Rebecca Patuto, a freshman, had come out of curiosity, turning the event into a casual hangout with friends and pizza. “I came because my friend invited me. I came the last time they had a comedian here. He was okay, small crowd. He was asking us questions rather than using planned content,” she said.
As Ramos made his way to the stage, it was clear that he has a plan in mind. He began with cracks about his childhood and family life, warming up a crowd that was quick-to-laugh. He took on more serious subject matters like relationships and love, adopting a dark sense of humor that consistently entertained.
His opener drew approval from the students in the seats, who, at this point, were filled up on pizza and enjoying a lively diversion from usual college stress.
When Ramos transitioned into interacting with the audience, his performance became a casual conversation, infusing his act with a unique Ramapo spin. He asked the clusters about their own experiences with relationships, which made way to playful teasing. Witty observations about the campus came next, casting the Ramapo pond in a comically sinister light.
“Dan [Sakumoto] told me not to walk toward the light. He said, ‘no, walk in the dark… stay in the dark.’ Like what’s that supposed to mean? Are you going to kill me?”
Laughter coursed through the audience as Ramos energized the clusters of people with his confidence, and not one face in the crowd was still. The now-lively crowd applauded as Ramos ended his act. With a smile and a wave, Ramos began packing his bag. The question remained: what’s next for Ramos?
In response, he said, “Right now I’m developing my own show based on my comedy and point of view. I’m trying to see if I can become a staff writer for more shows, so I’m submitting a lot of my writing.”