Student rolls the dice with stand-up comedy

Julia Gallagher, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The spring student work series gives students a chance to exhibit their talent through directing and performing work that they enjoy.


A mix of personal stories and celebrity impersonations, the stand-up comedy “Rolling for Persuasion” was the second installment of CSUSM’s spring student work series.


Julian Kalb, a senior here at CSUSM, wrote, produced and starred in the comedy piece.


“It took me about a couple months to write the lineup because comedy has to be fresh to really hit with the audience,” Kalb said.


He started the performance by explaining how he always wanted to do comedy and that he started acting in the theater when he was younger as a segway into stand-up. He said he  suffered throughout his career from typecasting.

Kalb is Jewish but he said he noted the irony that he was frequently cast as a German Nazi throughout high school. He said he thought it would stop in college, but it didn’t. This anecdote received a room full of laughs from the audience.

He then discussed the Oscars and said he feels certain movies were cheated. He relayed the plot of Green Book to the audience and joked that it is a bad plot for a movie. Kalb said he preferred Black Panther and wished it had won Best Picture instead. He also joked that Shape of Water, which won for Best Picture in 2017, was the best Valentine’s Day movie he’s seen.

After a few jokes about the Oscars, Kalb moved onto impersonating and performing the material of some well-known comedians. Kalb said that the comedians he impersonates are all people who sparked his interest in comedy and have influenced his personal comedic style.

Beginning with an impression of Joe Rogan’s bit about people who believe that Bigfoot is real, Kalb covered a handful of famous comedy works. He then performed Robin Williams’s routine about natural disasters and two of Gilbert Gottfried’s routines; one about French toast and another about Elie Wiesel.


He performed a bit by Chris Rock about Michael Jackson, which proved to be funny by eliciting laughs throughout the audience. Kalb’s uncanny voice impersonation of Rock is what seemed to really sell the performance. It was as if the audience were listening to Rock himself.


When asked what he did in preparation for the performance Kalb said, “I did a lot of breathing exercises to help calm myself down. I get nervous on stage and it can be awkward trying to visibly fight it on stage.”

Overall, Kalb’s performance received positive reactions from the audience. His jokes about his own life and experience with acting and comedy provided insight into him as a performer. The audience got to know Kalb, what drives him and who his comedic influences are.


“Being a part of the student work series was a fun experience. I got to be able to make something on my own accord and I learned a lot about how being the star and producer of a stage show can be exhausting but rewarding,” Kalb said.


The final event is a performance of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit directed by Ingrid Trovão and will be held on March 27 to 28 at 7 p.m. in Arts 111. Admission is free.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email