Photo by Anna Meassick | Senior Nate Meneffee (left) cracks a joke, while Freshman Finlee Burge records the set-up and delivery to be used at open mic night.
After attending First Night in September, University of Rhode Island freshman Ron Melamed noticed there was still one missing from over the 100 that were offered.
“I was on campus and trying to look for the club,” Melamed said. “I asked my friend where’s the stand-up club, and he said there isn’t one and this was all in the dream.” As soon as he woke up, Melamed said, he knew he had to get to it and make the club.
Within his short time having been on campus, Melamed quickly learned a lot about how URI functions and the resources offered. Since First Night he has been attempting to make his dreams a reality.
Melamed has been working with Student Senate to become recognized. He said becoming recognized will allow him to grow the club from just a single weekly meeting where people brainstorm jokes and attempt to hone their writing skills, to a club that meets twice a week. The extra meeting would allow members to actually perform their material in an open mic setting.
Melamed said, that while the club is still small, he’s having trouble filling the required board seats he needs to become recognized, but he hopes to grow the club through the use of flyers he has hung around campus. These flyers are designed to urge those passing by to scan his club’s Snapchat Snapcode.
Reflecting on his upbringing, Melamed said that he, “wouldn’t spend a lot of time on homework,” but rather, would spend it watching stand up. For him, telling a joke was an art form. In his eyes, it was “something that could be crafted, like carpentry.”
Melamed is a marketing major and is often asked why he would feel it’s so important that comedy be given a place on campus to be created. “Laughter is an emotion unlike any other,” Melamed said. “Laughter is a special thing that’s rare.”
Melamed further explained that “making someone experience joy,” is an emotion he hopes to bring out with his club’s comedy.
Other members of the club echoed these sentiments. Finlee Burge, a freshman majoring in Cellular and Molecular BioLife, said he joined the club because he wants, “to work as a clown, for ‘Clowns without Borders,’” and is in need of experience performing in order to accomplish that goal.
He said, that even without the ability to host its own open mic just yet, the club, and more specifically Melamed has encouraged him to perform at the 193 Coffeehouse open mic in the Memorial Union on Thursday nights. An opportunity that he, “wouldn’t have known about if [Melamed] hadn’t convinced [her] to go.”
The URI Stand Up Comedy Club meets on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. in the main lounge of Bressler Hall.