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Comedian Andy Hendrickson performs at Reid Campus Center

Hendrickson's dry style and humorous anecdotes entertained audiences in Reid last Thursday

Missy Gerlach, Staff Writer

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The basement of Reid Campus Center is undoubtedly a change of scene for a comedian that made his career in New York City and currently lives in Los Angeles. Despite the different crowd, visiting comic Andy Hendrickson, who performed at Whitman College on Oct. 20, proved that his dry, witty humor transcends the difference between the big city and the small town.

Hendrickson is a current comic whose success has brought him across the country and around the globe. In addition to crossing the United States, performing at clubs and other venues, Hendrickson has performed in Canada, England, Holland and Ireland. He also travelled to Afghanistan as part of the “Outback’s Feeding Freedom Tour” to provide laughter and entertainment to troops across the country. He also released his third comedy CD, titled “Underachiever” that was released to positive reviews and made it onto the iTunes Top 40 chart. Most in the mainstream are Hendrickson’s appearance on popular television shows, including “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and Gotham Comedy Live, a popular comedy club based in NYC.

For Walla Walla, Hendrickson tailored his act to the town, opening his set with jokes about the town’s one Uber driver. He also touched on the prevalent wine industry and the accompanying wine-tasting culture. While the small venue may have been out of the ordinary for Hendrickson, it allowed for a playful dynamic between Hendrickson and the crowd. Hendrickson bantered with audience members as they arrived, playfully asking they where they were coming from or if they knew Jr, the taxi driver that drove him to the show.

Much of his content drew from the people he knew–his brother, mother, father, ex-girlfriends, current girlfriend, even the staff at a coffee shop he frequents. These anecdotes, while specific to his family, had aspects familiar and relatable to the audience, such as technologically-challenged relatives or that obnoxiously cheery barista down the street.

Hendrickson brought all of these elements together in his dry, witty style that kept the audience entertained and laughing during his hour-long set.

Whitman seniors Ally Bogisich and Grecia Rojas both enjoyed Hendrickson’s performance, noting his ability to interact with the audience.

“I think he definitely shows that he can feed off of the audience, which is really key,” Bogisch said.

“He’s able to talk back and forth between the audience. I like that,” Rojas added.

Rojas favorite joke centered on Hendrickson’s mom’s long and meandering phone messages, while Bogisch particularly enjoyed an anecdote about his father adopting a deceased relative’s phone number as his own.

Isiah Cocroft, the Special Events Director for Whitman Events Board, gave insight into the planning of the event. “My job is to bring comedians, and slam poets, and hypnotists, and magicians or really anything that doesn’t really fall under [a] specific category,” Cocroft said.

Whether through speakers like Shaun King, or performers like Hendrickson, WEB’s goal is to entertain Whitman students.

That goal was certainly achieved with Hendrickson’s performance. As an entertainer he was both personable and relatable. He amused the audience with his banter and witty jokes, leaving the crowd laughing as he stepped down from the stage, ending with one key takeaway for the audience:

“You gotta have a sense of humor in life.”

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Whitman news since 1896
Comedian Andy Hendrickson performs at Reid Campus Center