H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman deliver laughs to UNT

H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman deliver laughs to UNT

H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman deliver laughs to UNT
April 30
23:05 2018

The audience was excited from the moment they saw the two comedians’ silhouettes as they walked past projection screens. They walked onstage without an introduction, because they did not need one.

Actors and comedians H. Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman performed at the UNT Coliseum on Tuesday, April 24 at 8 p.m. as part of the Mary Jo and V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series.

Benjamin and Mirman star in the television show Bob’s Burgers as Bob Belcher and his son Gene, respectively.

Mike Fleming, coordinator and co-chair of the Fine Arts Series, said that choosing artists and events for the series is a long process.

“We start by soliciting submissions and we try to get as many submissions from students as possible,” Fleming said.

Submissions go to a committee made up of UNT staff, faculty and students. The committee sorts through the submissions and assess their feasibility and cost.

Fleming said that this event was suggested by a graduate student. At the time, the full cast of Bob’s Burgers was touring. Once the suggestion went through the full process, that tour was over but Benjamin and Mirman were still available.

The show began with the men giving students advice based on questions they had written on notecards before the show. A few of them had spelling mistakes, but most of them led to funny answers in which Benjamin and Mirman teased the people who asked the questions. They advised struggling actors to get out of Denton.

Ecology senior Aaron DeLeon said that he enjoyed this part of the show because the comedians were not afraid to poke fun at the audience.

“I don’t do comedy at all but I just like to make fun of people,” DeLeon said.

Human Development and Family Science sophomore Lauren Hanson is a fan of Bob’s Burgers and Archer, which also stars Benjamin. She also liked the first part of the show, but was not sure about the rest of it.

“Some of it was classically funny and some of it was like: did you come up with this on the way here?” Hanson said.

After the questions were answered, Mirman did his own set. He talked about being recognized at a sperm bank and signing up for Christian Mingle.

“I signed up for Christian Mingle even though I’m married and Jewish,” Mirman said to the crowd.

After his set, Benjamin came on stage and talked about his expectation that he would have diarrhea after barbeque.

“I think there was too much diarrhea emphasis because after one joke it wasn’t funny,” DeLeon said.

At the end of his set, a jazz trio came on stage. Their instruments had been at the back of the stage during the entire show. Benjamin stood at a keyboard and gave a dramatic monologue as the band performed morose music.

“I am the Jazz Daredevil,” Benjamin said to end the monologue. “And this song is called, ‘Well I Should Have Learned How to Play the Piano.”

He proceeded to play the piano by bashing random keys. The audience was at their most vocal during this part. The crowd seemed to love the song, but not everyone felt that way.

Media Arts sophomore Juliana Cohen does stand up comedy. She has seen a few episodes of Bob’s Burgers and wanted to seize the opportunity to watch these comedians perform. She said that they were talented and delivered “random, absurd comedy,” but she did not like the jazz number.

“It was funny but it was short and anti-climactic,” Cohen said. “As a struggling comedian looking at a successful comedian, [I thought] I could do that, just not play the piano. Why am I learning the piano?”

Cohen said that watching a well-known comedian make jokes about diarrhea and dildos made her feel like she does not have to try as hard in her comedy career.

“This guy just comes out and is like, ‘I gotta poop. Doop, doop doop’ and we all die laughing,” Cohen said.

The three students all said that they liked the show overall, even though there were parts that they said could have been better.

Students can submit recommendations for future Fine Arts Series events at fineartsseries.unt.edu. Off the top of her head, Cohen said that Bo Burnham, Ryan Seacrest and Tyra Banks would all be interesting guests.

Fleming said that people often confuse the Fine Arts Series with the Distinguished Lecture Series, so he wants his group’s programs to stand out.

“We’re trying to make a name for the fine arts series,” he said.

Fleming said that even though not every submission can be taken, he encourages students to suggest artists.

“My goal is to have as many student submissions as possible because at this point I’m getting older and I don’t really know what’s out there,” Fleming said. “So I want to know what people are into and who they want to bring.”

Featured Image: H. Jon Benjamin is the voice of Sterling Archer in the FX show “Archer” and plays Bob Belcher in “Bob’s Burgers.” Benjamin came to UNT as part of the Fine Arts Series. Trevon McWilliams/URCM

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Camila Gonzalez

Camila Gonzalez

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2 Comments

  1. Neil Nevins
    Neil Nevins May 01, 14:37

    So many entitled students at this thing. You get an event that’s free for you and yet they continue to moan and complain when it isn’t to their exact liking.

    Reply to this comment
  2. John Merlin
    John Merlin May 01, 16:51

    I thought the show was an embarrassment to UNT’s Fine Arts Series.

    Benjamin spent 1/3 of the show doing a lame slideshow talking about him and his 8 year old son on “x” and 1/3 of the show talking about a dildo. Not what I expect UNT to spend money on (and certainly not the FINE ART SERIES). And then tops it off mocking the jazz students by “preforming” with them as he pounded the keyboard

    As a staff and UNT graduate, I was ashamed to have UNT associated with it.

    Reply to this comment

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