The College of William and Mary has witty alumni, and that’s no funny business — well, actually, it is.
AMP and the William and Mary Arts and Entertainment Alumni Council brought Sara Schaefer ’00 and Carmen Lynch ’94 back to the College to present stand-up comedy to the student body and the Williamsburg community at the first annual Arts and Entertainment Conference. The event took place Nov. 8 in the Commonwealth Auditorium in the Sadler Center.
Stand-up comedian Jamie Lee opened up for Schaefer and Lynch. She gave the audience a glimpse into her life in Brooklyn and noted that she was happy with her current position in life.
“I’m in a good place,” Lee said. “My boyfriend and I just took our relationship to the next level: we broke up.”
Even though the relationship with her boyfriend didn’t work out, Lee still wants to have kids and, occasionally, nannies.
“I was nannying for a while and the kid unfortunately had this problem where he failed to be as compelling as my iPhone,” Lee said. “That’s his fault, you know? He’s like, ‘I’m angry.’ And I’m like, ‘And so are these birds!’”
Schaefer took the stage after Lee. She has won two Emmys as Head Blogger for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” She also co-hosts “The Nikki & Sara Show,” which will appear on late night MTV in 2013.
Schaefer spoke of her time at the College, including her experience as a member of the Seventh Grade Sketch Comedy club. She gave a warning, however, to students who might be losing perspective.
“I’m just saying that if you think you look good right now, just wait,” she said. “Because when you look back, and you see pictures of yourself in college, you’ll throw up.”
As a student, one of Schaefer’s daydreams was to blatantly chuck her keys into the Crim Dell during the rush between classes and then obnoxiously scream that she had lost her keys and needed help. But she told the audience that the Crim Dell was more to her than a way to annoy fellow students.
“The Crim Dell also had meaning for me because that’s where I got engaged,” Schaefer said. “Just kidding … I was usually alone on that bridge, crying, waiting for someone who would never come. No, I also remember the Crim Dell … because I literally broke my tailbone right there … I had to carry one of the doughnuts seats. And I would go into the cafeteria and people would stare at it because they didn’t understand: ‘Does she have, like, explosive diarrhea or something?’”
When not suffering from explosive diarrhea, Schaefer may be found in an art museum crying her heart out.
“When it’s not going well, I like to save up all the crying that I have to do, hold it in, and then step into an art museum,” Schaefer said. “And then I just let it rip because I like to let the other people in the museum think that I just get the art more than they do. If I’m going to suffer I might as well feel culturally superior while doing it.”
Lynch, who has been on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and other networks, was the last act of the night, and she, too, spoke of experiences during her time at the College.
“I was pre-med for about a semester,” Lynch said. “I told my parents I wanted to be a doctor, but I was kidding. I just wanted them to love me more.”
Like Lee, Lynch has also had trouble with past boyfriends.
“I told my boyfriend I want to die in his arms,” Lynch said. “I think that would be romantic. But we’re not together anymore, so now it’s just going to be awkward when I call him and I’m like, ‘Remember that thing we talked about? It’s happening. Can I come over?’”
Unlike the other two comedians, Lynch has experience with parenting.
“I have this daughter. She’s three; she’s from Bolivia. She actually lives in Bolivia. I pay $28 a month to feed her and send her school supplies. My mom’s like, ‘When are you going to have a kid?’ and I’m like, ‘What about what’s-her-face in Bolivia? Does she not count? I have to pay $28 a month!’ … It’s hard being a single mom.”
Lynch felt close enough to the audience to tell them her humanitarian efforts.
“I peed in the ocean once,” Lynch said. “It felt really good, you know, to do it. Then I’m like, ‘this is disgusting.’ While I was doing it, I was like, ‘this is gross. It’s dirty.’ But then I was like, ‘wait a second, look at all the bad things the ocean has done to us, like the tsunamis and stuff.’ I was like, ‘this is for all the people who died in the tsunami.’ You don’t have to give money. There are other ways to give back.”
The Arts and Entertainment Conference also held several panels for students and the public Nov. 9 with speakers such as Ashley Edward Miller ’94, screenwriter for “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class,” Pete Johnson ’91, VP of Creative Advertising for Nickelodeon, and comedians Schaefer and Lynch. The speakers focused on how the digital world is revolutionizing the entertainment business.
The laughs coming from the audience were a testament to the comedians’ success. Neziah Goodman ’16 especially enjoyed Schaefer’s performance.
“She was hilarious and touched on a lot of hilarious and depressing aspects of college and growing up,” Goodman said in an email.
While all the performances were met with laughter, Lynch says that her best is revealed when she is by herself.
“When I go out with my friends, they’re like, ‘You seem more confident now, more animated, more fun,’” Lynch said. “And I’m like, ‘You should see me when I’m alone.’”