Actor, comedian and producer Nick Kroll had students in stitches last Thursday night during a Q&A session hosted by the Student Union Board of Governors where he revealed that his favorite go-to joke is about wetting his pants.
The creator of “Big Mouth,” “Oh Hello” and “Kroll Show” chatted with the University of Connecticut through a livestream hosted by Comedy Chair Catherine Casey. Kroll talked about the characters he plays on Big Mouth, the various comedy projects he’s worked on and what it was like becoming a father during the pandemic.
“A lot of the appointments, I had to be on FaceTime in the car while [my wife] was in the appointment, and that stuff’s super weird,” he said. “Is that funny? Is this a funny story to talk about?”
Kroll said one of the things he’s missed most about performing since the pandemic began is immersing himself in the culture of each place he performs in, like visiting New Haven’s iconic pizza joints.
While virtual comedy shows have popped up online to supplement the in-person experience, Kroll said he would much rather do Q&A sessions because virtual comedy just isn’t the same.
“So much of the way I build a set is live and getting a real sense from the audience, like what’s working or not,” he said. “So I won’t miss this. I’ll miss the Q&As because they’re fun, but I won’t miss trying to figure out how to do comedy in quarantine.”
But Kroll is a professional, after all. So even when he was just answering questions that students submitted before the event, he found a way to make UConn laugh.
Casey said only 55 people attended the event, as opposed to the 583 that attended the fall Q&A session with comedian John Mulaney. She attributed the lack of attendance to Kroll’s event, as well as that of two other comedians throughout the semester, to students feeling tired of online events.
“We had John, and I know a lot of people went to John,” she said. “And then we’ve had three other comedy events, and I’ve watched every single one of them because I’m the chair, and it does really make me kind of sad that people only went to the one because the other three are just as high quality as the John Mulaney show.”
Mulaney cost SUBOG $50,000, which the organization split with the Undergraduate Student Government, and Kroll cost SUBOG $30,000, Casey said.
“One good thing about virtual events is we never would’ve been able to get John Mulaney if we were in person,” Casey said. “Bigger names are way cheaper because of the online format.”
With the recent announcement of UConn’s fall 2021 back to school plan, Casey said to keep an eye out for more information about SUBOG’s Comedy Jam next semester, which she said will be a great way to kick off the “revitalization” of in-person events on campus.