Comedy season kicks off with known performers



By Tom Hurley

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Two ducks walked into a bar. Ouch.

OK, that one was bad, but there were much better free jokes offered Wednesday night at the debut of the Cats Den’s Comedy Caravan.

Students new and old squeezed into the Student Center venue for the visit of comedians Kevin McCaffrey and Mike Trainor.

Both men brought the house down with their routines played in front of an audience that moments earlier sat in a recreation room full of pool tables and video games.

After a quick dim of the lights, setting up of chairs and hush of the crowd, the room was transformed into a comedy store that wouldn’t look out of place in New York or Los Angeles.

McCaffrey, who last visited the Cats Den in 2008, was delighted to be back in front of the UK masses.

“It was great, it was a fun crowd,” he said of his performance.

The Chicago native entertained with jokes talking about the complexities of tying a shoelace after weight gain to the awkwardness of carrying toilet paper through New York City — a city he knows well because of

his position as the writer for David Letterman’s Top Ten List.

McCaffrey was followed on stage by Trainor, the face and voice of “World’s Dumbest Criminals” on TruTV.

Trainor’s act was also a big hit with students, many of whom found it difficult to contain themselves during his risqué routine.

“It was good, (I) had a lot of fun,” he said on his third show in Lexington this calendar year. “Early in the year shows are a good time.

“Kevin did good, we tour together a lot, so it was nice.”

The comedian appreciated having a break from his television work to tour with McCaffrey.

“I sneak out. We’re between seasons right now so it was pretty easy to take a few days and travel around,” he said.

Students were certainly glad he was able to wrestle himself away from his television commitments to visit campus.

“It was quite hilarious,” Shang Sharpe, an undeclared freshman, said.

He also got to attend the free show with new friends, beneficial to the settling in period.

“I’m still getting used to the campus atmosphere and I’ve never really been to shows like this so it’s really fun,” Sharpe said.

“I’m going to definitely be coming again.”

The night even got under way with a short performance by one of UK’s own.

Steve Pearce kicked off with a sample of his self-honed comedy routine, an act he’s been working on during his time as host of Comedy Caravan on Wednesdays.

Pearce, an advertising major who graduated last Friday, was delighted to see another throng of students for the midweek event.

“When I started the show, the average audience attendance was 74 people, tonight we had 172, last year we finished with an average of 149 which is just incredible,” he said.

Pearce recommended any student interested in comedy try it out as he reflected on his stint as Comedy Caravan host, which drew to a close following his graduation.

“It’s such a cool reality,” he said. “Just being on stage in general, getting to talk to people, especially making people laugh has just been awesome.”

Students interested in comedy are invited to try out their own routines under the spotlight on the first open-mic night of the year.

The event takes place at 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Cats Den.