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Comedian and performer Brian Rudo entertains students as finals approach

Alex Schlee | Staff Writer | 12-08-2012

As fall semester draws to a close, many of Bemidji State’s students have been finding their free time spent buried in coursework and study material. Those who had a little more than an hour left of their spare time to devote to leisure had a chance to see a performer come to BSU.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. last week. Brian Rudo, a performer focusing on “adrenaline comedy,” put on an intense, interactive show, calling on members of the audience to assist him in several stunts and tricks.

Throughout his show, Rudo entertained the audience assembled in Hagg-Sauer Hall 100 with a string of jokes and stand-up routines, most of which focused on making fun of the audience itself.

“Good comedy isn’t about saying funny stuff,” said Rudo as he opened his act. “It’s about having the balls to say when someone is doing something stupid.”

Rudo’s show involved six stunts, all pulled off with help from the audience. In his first act, he attempted to whip a stick of celery out of the mouth of a girl from the front row. Had the feat gone smoothly, Rudo’s show allegedly would have contained more acts than were performed, but the trick dragged on longer than anticipated due to the frightened volunteer’s discomfort with being at the receiving end of a bullwhip. Fortunately, she got out of the trick unscathed, but so did the stick of celery.

The rest of Rudo’s show involved a few other amusing escape acts, including a slip-out from a pair of thumb cuffs and later from two layers of straightjackets.  Rudo also impressed the audience by using his own body as a power conduit to a fluorescent light bulb and later winning a game of chance involving a knife hidden under one of four paper bags.

Every year, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) brings acts like Rudo’s to BSU. When asked after Wednesday’s performance, CAB member Dylan Davison explained the process through which the organization brings entertainment to campus.

Each year, representatives from CAB attend the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), a convention showcasing acts from around the country looking to perform at university venues. Through this convention, CAB can reach a wide variety of performers. Around one-third of BSU’s entertainment events are contacted through NACA. The rest comes from a combination of student suggestions and CAB’s own research into possible bookings.

Brian Rudo was one such performer contacted through NACA. A self-represented act, Rudo has been using NACA to book shows throughout the Eastern and Northeastern parts of the country for years. Recently, he began to expand his shows into the Midwestern region. The spectacle on Wednesday was Rudo’s first performance in Minnesota.