The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

“Hello Dali” shows off comedic chops in final show

Hello Dali held their last performance. (File Photo)

Plenty of laughs were had in the Grand Ballroom at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Thursday from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. as “Hello Dali” performed their last show of the semester.

Starting in 1991, “Hello Dali” started as an Eastern improv organization where students perform several comedy exercises and on-the-spot skits.

The comedy group brought together students from many different majors including Board President Gunnar Olsen, a broadcast journalism major, Vice President Alonna Baisden, a television production major, Secretary Charlie Stauffer, a chemistry major, and Treasurer Lucas Grindley, a biology major.

Baisden said she enjoyed telling jokes to her friends, which is what led her to join the group her freshman year after attending Pantherpalooza.

“My freshman year, I had never really done a comedy thing before,” Baisden said. “I just like making jokes with my friends, so I was like you know a comedy club. I want to see where that comes from.”

After a couple of years in the group, Baisden said she wanted to be a representative on the organization board, to be a leader to those just starting in comedy.  

“I’m an older member so I want to be able to help other people,” Baisden said. “Being the Vice President is a good way for me to be able to help other people understand improv the way that I’ve come to understand it and also just grow myself and push myself to do new things.”

Baisden also said the club is a lighthearted opportunity that does not involve schoolwork.

“I think it’s a club that you can be in but it’s not so serious,” Baisden said. “So, I guess it’s just nice to have an organization on campus and to be a part of that. It’s just like I can sit back, and I just let go like I don’t have to worry about grades. I don’t have to think too much and I kind of just do and have a good time.”

With more than 30 people showing up to watch the improv group, seeing that Eastern Illinois students are interested in something members are very appreciative of, according to Baisden.

“It’s very validating I will say, and I mean we try to perform to the best of our abilities regardless and people call me because the whole point is just to get it out,” said Baisden. “But definitely when people come that builds up this energy and you know it like when you make jokes and people are laughing, it’s really awesome.”

Junior accounting major Ethan Lane recently joined “Hello Dali” and said he got involved simply from wanting to meet new people.

“The main reason was just to meet people and make friends,” Lane said. “So, this is kind of my first time performing in anything, so it’s a very new experience for me but I’m really liking it.”  

The club is also an experience that allows him to express himself and feel a sense of community, according to Lane.

“One big thing is it just kind of makes me feel a part of the campus,” Lane said. “And just kind of be able to kind of show that fun side of things and not take anything seriously.”

Jazie Lawver, a sophomore sociology major, was in the audience for the show and said she appreciates that students have the chance to show off their comedic chops.

“I think that’s really cool and I know improv is really hard to do, and they are great at it,” Lawver said. “So, like they’re getting the practice so if they want to go into comedy or theater, they can do it here.”

However, “Hello Dali” does not only take the stage at Eastern, as they have also performed at the University of Champaign-Urbana in Champaign in recent years. While this show was the last of the semester, they plan to have more shows and new members going into 2024. 


Drew Coffey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].


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About the Contributors
Drew Coffey
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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