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Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

A Night of Comedy and Community with Dan Ahdoot

Dan+Ahdoot%2C+an+Iranian-Jewish+comic%2C+writer+and+actor+who+was+previously+on+shows+such+as+Kickin+It%2C+performed+stand-up+in+Emerson+Suites+on+Oct.+17.
Leila Marcillo-Gómez
Dan Ahdoot, an Iranian-Jewish comic, writer and actor who was previously on shows such as “Kickin’ It,” performed stand-up in Emerson Suites on Oct. 17.

Ithaca College hosted a laughter-filled and fun night featuring Dan Ahdoot on Oct. 16 in Emerson Suites. The comic, actor and writer has been in a variety of television shows, most notably “Cobra Kai,” “Kickin’ It,” “Shameless” and he is currently hosting the show “Raid the Fridge” on Food Network. 

Ahdoot came on stage with a bang, making jokes about stealing bones, referring to a more serious message from Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel at Ithaca College, about joining the National Bone Marrow Registry in order to donate and provide bone marrow to people across the globe. At the end of the event, attendees were invited to swab their cheeks to begin the process of donation. The information would be used to see if there was an exact match and if there was an exact match found, the registered person would be called and asked to donate the marrow. 

“Hi, I’m just going to tell you the world sucks, give me your bones!” Ahdoot said. “We’re all going to die, give me your bones! That’s a high bar for a comedy show, you want to come to this show, you’ve got to give us your bone jelly.” 

The back-to-back punchlines about his family and their quirks, Ahdoot’s own dating and athletic life, as well as other material did not stop the full 45 minutes, with attention brought to two of his own guests, his father and brother. Weaving in crowd work and what seemed to be some rehearsed topics, Ahdoot kept the crowd consistently engaged. 

Ahdoot, an Iranian-Jewish person, highlighted some of his experiences with his background and connected with other Jewish and Iranian-Jewish students in multiple ways, including asking for a raise of hands of audience members who are Jewish, asking if anyone was an Iranian-Jewish person specifically and also talking about traditions specific to the culture. 

One of these students was junior Cassi Silver, who had been a fan of Ahdoot since the Disney show “Kickin’ It,” in addition to many of his shows at “Laugh Factory.” Silver felt a personal connection to the comedian, as they shared a background of being Iranian-Jewish people.

“My favorite moment was probably when he talked to me, just because of that rush; I don’t know how to describe that,” Silver said. “I mean, being the same ethnicity as him was something I figured he would bring up, but I was glad he did because it was a nice bonding moment.”

Senior Noah Kamens attended the event because of a curiosity of what the comedian would come up with for the evening but also through a common identity. 

“I’m Jewish, he’s Jewish, I watched him work and think he’s funny,” Kamens said. “I didn’t really know what he would be doing, but I was really curious to see if he would do … an entire sketch comedy show as Falafel Phil, or would he try to ignore it?”

The routine overall stayed light and interesting, with Adhoot jumping from topic to topic and eventually talking about his time on “Kickin’ It,” a crowd favorite. A brief question and answer portion with the audience highlighted questions like, “Do you have a favorite cast member?” to which the reply was “Tootsie,” his goat co-worker on the show.

Sophomore Meredith Waropay found Ahdoot and his work with Disney to be interesting and was glad to have been able to attend the event.

“I thought it was really funny,” Waropay said. “I liked that he interacted with the audience, like the Q&A, I thought it was really cool that he was part of Disney and his role in ‘Kickin’ It.’

Adhoot also took time to poke fun at the student body, dedicating time to guessing what the acronyms of the college’s majors stood for. Some of the more entertaining for him to guess were “TVDM,” “IMC” and “FPVA,” the latter of which he guessed “foreign policy in Virginia.”

Kamens particularly liked the interactions between Ahdoot and the crowd, especially since it built a sense of relevancy to him.

“I always like when comedians do things that are relevant to you,” Kamens said. “So talking about the bone marrow drive and making fun of people’s majors. That part got a little out of hand, but it was funny; I thought it was good.”

The stand-up ended with Ahdoot detailing a celebrity incident he had had in Los Angeles, where he was recognized by a child rather than the very famous Matthew McConaughey who was sitting next to him, leaving the room full of laughter, and it was the perfect way to end the set. This last joke was a favorite of the night for Waropay. 

Sam Gross, an intern with IC Hillel’s Homburger Jacobs Contemporary Jewish Issues Lecture Series, was involved in the promotion and flow of the event, as well as introducing the dynamic guest.

“It was super fun. By the time I came in, Dan was already booked and hired, so my job was to promote it, make sure everything went well, make sure that Dan had everything he needed today,” Gross said. “I did all the back end stuff and I think it went really well.”

The event was sponsored by the Homburger Jacobs Contemporary Jewish Issues Lecture Series, which was funded by donations from Dr. Eve Homburger77 and Brad Jacobs, both of whom attended the event. The series was created in memory of Homburger’s parents and Jacobs’ father, who were Holocaust survivors in Germany.

Homburger spoke on the importance of highlighting diversity, especially with the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. 

“We have both been brought up regarding the importance of being open-minded and diverse, and we came up with this idea of having annual speakers on diversity or on something current,” Homburger said. “We both thought that was very critical to society. And as we see today, sadly, how critical it is people, society, individuals, learn about diversity and inclusiveness and we are all the same, and so I think that that’s what we have to do.”

Homburger enjoyed the performance from Ahdoot and said that though it was hard to take a break from the ongoing conflict in her heart and soul, she ultimately thought it was a good decision. 

“I wasn’t sure at first whether the ‘show should go on;’ I wasn’t sure,” Homburger said. “But standing here talking to you and thinking of all the students, I think maybe it was good for our hearts and our souls, and we’re still there to support all the people we need to support, and in 10 minutes we’re all going to be back to our lives, with sorrow in our heart. So maybe in fact this was what we needed. It was meant to be that it came at this time.”

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Molly Fitzsimons, Life and Culture Editor
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