NOW PRESENTING: The Rutgers Comedy Club


Coming to Rutgers this Spring Semester…  


The Rutgers Comedy Club will give you the opportunity to laugh, hone your comedic skills, and get genuine feedback from other talented and aspiring comedians.


I met with the executive board to discuss what the Rutgers Comedy Club is and what they plan to bring to Rutgers.


RJ Parla, the president of the organization, explained how the Rutgers Comedy Club was birthed into existence. Surprisingly not by the big bang, Parla broached the idea of forming a new comedy club on campus with Jessica Acierno, the vice president, and Abby Weinick, the public relations chair when Parla met them at the College Avenue Players, an improv student organization, and Cabaret Theater, another student-run organization that has auditions for theater performances throughout the year.


Parla says they weren’t content with what those clubs offered for comedians at Rutgers.  


The Rutgers Comedy Club is different from other Rutgers comedy and acting clubs in its specific focus on stand-up comedy, and most importantly, its inclusivity.


“There should be a place for people that want to do comedy that’s not limited to auditions,” said Parla.


The Rutgers Comedy Club is an open mic forum where creative input from everyone is not only appreciated, but encouraged.


Acierno expanded upon this: “it’s definitely a learning environment where you can bounce ideas off each other. It’s a no-judgment zone, and you get the feedback that you wouldn’t be able to get usually. We wanted to find a place for people to collaborate.”


If you go to an event, the process for performing at Rutgers Comedy Club is structured. After running through your bit, you get to hear feedback on what to improve, or what worked well from everyone in attendance.


Or, alternatively, you can also just come to watch and laugh.


Rutgers Comedy Club offers the opportunity for those who are too nervous about performing, or those who just don’t really like their work, but are trying to get their toe in the water. Some acts will be diving in headfirst, whereas others will be slowly walking in with a floaty, ridden with the fear of uncharted territory.


In retrospect, I’m surprised it took so long for a stand-up club to develop. Like all good things, I suppose, it just takes time. What is extremely exciting about the Rutgers Comedy Club is the powerful duality offered by a comedy club that is about the art, as well as about the community. This dichotomy only helps to foster continued growth of its members and maintain a hefty barrage of friendly competition.


This ideology reminds me of Verbal Mayhem; a mainstay in Rutgers extracurricular clubs for open mic performances in poetry and music.  It has created a beautiful forum of collaboration and expression. Rutgers Comedy Club has the same ambitions and overarching goals, but through a different form of art — comedy.


Three years ago when I came to Rutgers as a freshman, Verbal Mayhem was small and would meet in a classroom. It was fun and had a positive energy, but it wasn’t well known or respected as a student organization.


I see the same opportunity for blossoming in The Rutgers Comedy Club. A student organization that has powerful roots, and a powerful climate to share their mission. Now, I just hope they remember to water the plant.



The Rutgers Comedy Club is still working on becoming affiliated, but will be having events regardless of its official designation next semester. You can expect to find their meetings biweekly with an actual microphone and speaker.


Rj Parla is the president of the Rutgers Comedy Club and is a rising junior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies.


Abby Weinick is head of public relations and is a rising sophomore studying English.


Jessica Acierno is vice president and head of sketch comedy, and is a rising junior studying Communications.


Follow them on Facebook at “The Rutgers Comedy Club”