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De Guzman improvs a song about pugs and bacon.

De Guzman improvs a song about pugs and bacon.

Abbey Pignatari photo

Abbey Pignatari photo

De Guzman improvs a song about pugs and bacon.

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The University of Wisconsin-Platteville welcomed musician and stand-up comedian JR De Guzman to the stage for the final Stand Up Saturday of the spring 2018 semester. De Guzman seemed to connect with the audience as soon as he stepped on the stage.

As he walked onto the stage, De Guzman began to talk about the living rival between the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“Screw the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, you know what I’m saying?” De Guzman said. “I just heard there was a rivalry or something … I love it. Rivalry. Which school is in a smaller town?”

De Guzman continued on, talking about how he did not think he would ever find a school out here. He thought he was being punked. He then went on to joke about the diversity on campus.

“Is this campus diverse? As I came in, I saw you guys had the words diversity everywhere but no actual diversity. Like, this is pretty diverse, lots of different kinds of white people. Like red ones, pink ones. It depends on the type of sun you guys are getting,” De Guzman said.

After breaking the ice with the audience, De Guzman went on to make fun of himself for living in his parent’s house after graduating from college. He joked about being a man after graduating and no longer having to ask his parents for money… because he lived with them. This created a roar of laughter from the audience.

De Guzman then went on to sing a song, an Irish folk song as he called it, about “living with your folks.” The whole song played through scenarios of what could happen if you still live with you parents when you are older. The lyrics had the audience in a daze of laughter.

“I enjoy attending the Stand-Up Saturdays because CPR always brings great comedians to campus. I really enjoyed how [De Guzman] used music to do his comedy routine. [He is] not your normal comedian,” senior criminal justice and political science double major John Berringer said.

In an interview, De Guzman explained how he became interested in pursuing comedy.

“I was at [University of California, Davis], and I have always been a fan of stand-up. I was actually going pre-med. I was going to go into medicine. I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do, like at all. I took a theater class, that was a stand-up comedy class, at Davis. And just by doing that, I realized that is what I want to do. I got addicted to it,” De Guzman said. “A lot of comics talk about you catch the bug, where you just get addicted to doing stand-up. Writing jokes, telling jokes, getting feedback on it.”

When asked about how De Guzman was selected to come to the UW-Platteville campus, junior environmental engineering major and CPR lead event producer Tara Gambon explained that CPR will attend conferences and choose someone whom they think will entertain the campus.

“We pick a lot of our acts at NACA [National Association for Campus Activities], which is a big conference where we see a ton of different performers. He just stood out to us, so we wanted to bring someone we thought was funny and hoped that everyone else would think he was funny,” Gambon said.

A lot of preparation goes into putting these events together, though. It is not just about picking someone to come to campus. There are many behind the scene jobs, and various organizations on campus work together to make these events happen.   

“Production, on campus, does a lot of the work, they set up the stage and all of the lights and sound systems. They do a great job getting it ready to go in time for the show. As far as for CPR, we meet the artist and just make sure they are comfortable and know the area,” Gambon said.

Along with his on-stage performances, De Guzman does on-screen and on-the-go shows. He has performed on Comedy Central and is releasing a Netflix original over the summer. De Guzman has also performed in nine different countries, including Amsterdam, France, Malaysia and the Philippines. For next  semester’s Stand-Up Saturday performers, stay tuned to CPR’s webpage.

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