Comedian fills Grand Ballroom with laughter


Cassie Buchman

Comedian Ester Steinberg talks about her awkward tattoo, the uncomfortability of catcalling and past comedy shows Friday night in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Janet Pernell, Multicultural Reporter

The crowd was full of laughter as comedian Ester Steinberg made fun of her father for wanting small scenes in movies, her mother for finding her comedy not so nice and the problems with family members having Facebook accounts.

Steinberg performed Friday in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union for the University Board’s first comedy show of the semester.

The atmosphere of the Grand Ballroom was dark, with red border lights surrounding the tops of the walls and bright lights on the stage.

During her set, Steinberg interacted with the audience and started talking about some experiences she encountered in her life as a young woman.

Since the majority of the audience were women, Steinberg talked about catcalling and used that as a way to spread awareness on how catcalling is uncomfortable for women.

Steinberg said it is rare for her to do stand-up for a crowd of mostly women.

“It was fun to play for majority women,” Steinberg said. “I think everything should be universal.”

Her acts included a story on how her two older sisters tricked her into getting a tattoo from the television show “Charmed.”

“I got a real dumb tattoo. Got two older sisters and they love magic and they convinced me to get this tattoo,” Steinberg said. “They told me it was the power of three. It’s not, you guys. It’s the ‘Charmed’ logo from The WB show ‘Charmed.’”

Mark Bratton, a senior psychology major, thought Steinberg was great and hilarious.

Bratton said he would be talking about the show for the rest of the year.

“It’s a lot more interactive. You can be there in person to actually watch (the comedian) and their expressions,” Bratton said. “I thought it was funny watching her expressions and hearing her accents.”

Steinberg admitted to having moments where she questioned if a certain topic was appropriate to talk about. However, she still went with her planned acts and did not filter her material.

“I was afraid that colleges don’t want you to be too edgy or too dirty, but no one really gave me any (problems). They didn’t say what not to say, so I just got to do me,” Steinberg said. “Sometimes colleges will say ‘don’t curse’ and ‘don’t talk about sex’ and ‘don’t talk about drugs,’ and I’m like, ‘that’s all college kids want to hear.’”

Steinberg has been doing stand-up comedy since 2007. She originally wanted to be an actress but was instead influenced by her father to do comedy because he was not able to have a comedy career of his own.

Steinberg started to watch comedians like Joan Rivers and George Carlin as she got her start with comedy. Now Steinberg tours cities like Los Angeles and New York City, but she has also done shows at 30 colleges and universities. Coming to Eastern was her first time in Illinois.

Steinberg said the main goal of the night was to be entertaining.

“(Doing comedy) always feels good,” Steinberg said. “I always like making people laugh. It’s the key to having fun.”


Janet Pernell can be reached at 512-2812 or [email protected]