Kicked Off-Campus Comedy Tour Draws Laughs at the Whole

Michael Geiger

On November 5th, the student group Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) hosted their annual Free Speech Comedy Night. CFACT is a nonpartisan free-market environmentalist group.

The event was emceed by Benjamin Kruse and Leann Sandusky, the hosts the Up and At ‘Em podcast. 

The Free Speech Comedy Night consisted of five local comedians who competed for a $500 prize, and all five drew big laughs from the crowd throughout their time on stage. 

The first comedian of the night was Mohtasham Yaqub, a Pakistani-born 26-year-old whose set revolved around his upbringing. In one joke, Yaqub highlighted the stark contrast between the beautiful meanings of his sibling’s names and the relatively bland meaning of his own (“Carpet”).

Up next was Chris Maddock, a native of Stillwater, Minnesota. Maddock focused the majority of his jokes on how unique his family is, and they were all well-received by the crowd. 

The third comedian to take the stage was Courtney Baka, the lone female in the contest. Baka laid out the comically harsh realities of life as a 31-year-old single woman. 

The penultimate jokester was Ryan Kahl, who was named one of the four comedians to watch in 2018 by Kahl opened with a joke that poked fun at his own generic appearance, “I look like the first soldier killed in a World War 2 movie.” 

Rounding out the list of five competing comedians was Daniel Williams. Williams gave a humorous commentary on the current political scene, and drew the biggest laughs of the night from the crowd. He took home the $500 1st-place prize by popular vote. 

After the competition concluded, headliner Gabe Noah took the stage and the main event of the evening began. Noah is the host of the Profession Confession podcast, which allows people with strange jobs to tell interesting stories in anonymous fashion.

` Noah took up comedy in 2007, and only five years later he was named “Best Comic” by his peers in Minneapolis, and he has been invited to perform at festivals all across North America. 

The comedian is also a founding member of  The Turkeys, a group City Pages described as a “comedy boy band super group.” His work has been featured on the front page of and is on the comedy network. 

Noah shined in the relatively intimate setting, and the comedian quickly established a rapport with the audience. His half hour-was well received and provided the perfect closing to a night jam-packed with quality entertainers.