Comedian offers variety in his material Friday


Travis Moody

Comedian Gibran Saleem performs in the 7th Street Underground Friday night.

Travis Moody, Staff Reporter

Even though the 7th Street Underground was decorated as a campfire, the main performer kept spitting even more flames at the audience.

Gibran Saleem, a professional comedian of a year and a half, gave an interactive performance for an enthusiastic crowd last Friday.

Two “campfires” made of paper framed both sides of the stage, vines were growing up the columns in the room and each table had a tree decorating the middle of it.

Jake Spinnato, a junior psychology major, said Saleem gave a very personable show, which he has not seen a lot of.

“He relied a lot on audience interaction, and he held conversations with people in the audience,” Spinnato said. “That made it seem more genuine and even funnier.”

At one point in the show, one audience member did not want to tell Saleem her name, to which he replied, “You don’t want to talk to me. You’re just like, ‘Tell more jokes, funny man.””

Spinnato said his favorite joke of the night was when Saleem told a story about four drivers of different races and ethnicities, including himself, at an intersection, and each driver kept motioning everyone else to go first.

“He joked that the scenario went on for hours,” Spinnato said. “The way he brought race and diversity into it was positive, but it was still funny.”

While this was the first time Spinnato had seen one of Saleem’s shows, he said he would be more than happy to go to another one.

Saleem said his comedy style is narrative-based, autobiographical, silly and sincere.

“When I was in grad school, I actually started baking cookies as an outlet, and even won a few competitions,” Saleem said. “After that, about seven years ago, I started looking at comedy.”

Saleem said comedy is fulfilling for him creatively, intellectually and socially, featuring aspects of both business and marketing.

“After a few years of working a nine-to-five, I just decided to make the full leap into comedy,” Saleem said.

Saleem said he thinks comedy is important because it allows for powerful messages to be delivered through a disarming stance.

Dallas Lancenese, the University Board’s comedy coordinator, said the UB always tries to put on the best activities it can for students, and this comedy night was no exception.

Lancenese ended up choosing Saleem from looking at different agencies and watching a lot of videos of people doing stand-up.

“I just thought Gibran was very relatable, his jokes were funny enough that a wide variety of people could laugh at and relate to them,” Lancenese said.

Saleem told a variety of kinds of jokes, including stories, one-liners and many which called for audience members to participate and become involved in the joke.

“A comedian who can only tell one type of joke doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone, so that’s not a good act,” Lancenese said.

Lancenese said while he hoped for a bigger turnout, everyone was enjoying themselves, which he considers a good night.

“I’m so thankful for Eastern having me,” Saleem said when closing his show. “It was a great night, and I’m going to have to check out this actual castle you guys have on campus.”

Travis Moody can be reached at 518-2812 or at [email protected].