Comedian Adam Lowitt visited the Bossone Research Center’s Mitchell Auditorium Nov.17 for an evening of standup followed by a question-and-answer session. Lowitt is best known to audiences as a co-executive producer and writer for “The Daily Show.”
The evening began with Karen Curry, director of Drexel’s Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, introducing Lowitt by joking about how she has interviewed many people during her tenure and how usually the people she interviews have a lengthy bio. As is with comedians, Lowitt’s short-but-sweet biography includes, as Curry wittingly noted, the fact that he “currently lives in New York City with his seven wives and thirty-four kids” and that “it’s complicated.”
Lowitt first came on stage to invite student Benny Feldman up to do an opening act. Feldman, who was the winner of CAB and Late Night Series’ Student Comedian Competition held in October, had a tight routine that provoked lots of laughter. He is an animated comedian who seems very in touch with the audience and who very clearly enjoys being performing. Feldman’s subtle wordplay and puns employed observational humor which resonated with the audience. Topping that were his jokes about being Jewish and about having Tourette’s, which he flawlessly wove into his routine as his body experienced “turbulence.” Feldman had some dedicated fans in the audience who were very excited to see him perform.
After Feldman’s performance, Lowitt performed his own standup routine. He pumped up the audience by asking what those in the audience are studying and by talking about Philadelphia. Presumably because he was speaking to a college audience, he made jokes about previously being single and bitter, and about watching porn with his wife. Within these larger jokes he made smaller self-deprecating jokes about being Jewish and about his smaller stature.
After his standup routine Curry and Lowitt did a question and answer session, before they opened it up to the audience. Curry and Lowitt spoke about Lowitt’s entry into comedy—he did an internship during college for “The Daily Show.” They spoke about the technicalities of gathering and pitching material for staff writing sessions.
Curry later prompted Lowitt to tell a story he had told her earlier in the day about working with Jerry Seinfeld, which he described as the highlight of his comedy career.
Lowitt talked about the magic of Jon Stewart. He talked about how hard Stewart works and how much he enjoys what he does, noting how contagious and infections that passion truly is. He later touched on how developed Stewart’s voice is and how well he knows it, and moving on to discuss how well he treats his employees and how hard that makes them want to work in return.
Curry asked about the major change of Stewart leaving the show and Trevor Noah coming on, and about the transition. Lowitt said that “The Daily Show” was looking for new correspondents about two years ago, before Stewart announced he was leaving. Noah had a standup set sent over, and according to Lowitt, Stewart had barely made it through half a joke when he jokingly questioned, “Who the f-ck is this guy? He’s going to take my job!” Lowitt said that Noah has star quality: great presence, knows how to hold his own, and that he looks good behind the desk. Apparently this is all that is needed to qualify to be the host of “The Daily Show.” Lowitt followed this up by saying that Noah has the mind necessary—he cares about politics, current events and culture.
The students’ question and answer session allowed Lowitt to open up about topics such as being a cheerleader for potential comics by encouraging exploration into the local scene; discussing the worst he ever bombed, how he has made comedy a career, how he keeps his performance fresh, the importance of Twitter to the comedy community, and how to find your comedy voice.
Adam Lowitt is a four-time Emmy-Award-winning executive producer of Comedy Central’s ”The Daily Show,” and he regularly performs as a standup comedian in New York. “The Daily Show” airs at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, with new episodes airing Mondays through Thursdays.