Friday nights at Penn State have no lack of activities to try out; however, one you may have never heard of is the Second Floor Comedy club. According to their website, the club was started ten years ago by Brandon Scott Wolf, and has been providing an abundance of laughs ever since. In order to get a better idea of what the club is all about, VALLEY interviewed Kristen Nodell, a member and the host of Second Floor’s most recent show.
Nodell is a junior studying film and music tech. When asked how she got involved in comedy, Nodell replies that her older brother inspired her by taking part in comedy while he was in school. She loves comedians Chelsea Peretti, Nate Bargatze, Gary Gulman and John Mulaney, all of whom piqued her interest in stand-up throughout her life.
Nodell is heavily involved in the comedy scene at Penn State, holding positions in the sketch comedy club, improv club and Derby (an all-women’s comedy club). When asked about the most difficult parts of comedy, Nodell says, “getting into kind of a dry spell or writer’s block can be frustrating,” along with finding time to even write the jokes, but that it’s made worth it because, as Stephen Colbert says, “you cannot laugh and be afraid at the same time.” For her, the art of comedy is that it’s a unique way to share stories and backgrounds.
Keith Meenan (another member of Second Floor) chimes in to answer this as well, and laughs comedically, “I think the best part is to be able to do things and say things I would never do and all of a sudden be in an environment where I can just act like a maniac, yet, you know, still feel like I’m not embarrassing myself.”
Nodell encourages everyone to come to comedy club to share what they have to say, “as long as it’s not offensive.” They have open mic nights every Tuesday at 9 p.m. where you can audition for a show (or even just go to try out new material/watch!) and they put on a comedy show every other Friday at 7 p.m. in the Carnegie Building.
If Penn State’s typical Friday nights are starting to bore you, drop by Second Floor Comedy club for some new material that will have you rolling on the floor in no time.