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'Daily Show' Writer, Comedian Urges Students To Vote

This story was written by Greg Gentile, The Good Five Cent Cigar
Comedian Jeff Kreisler delivered laughs to a crowd of about 50 students in the University Rhode of Island Memorial Union Ball Room Monday night.

A political satirist, Kreisler writes for "Indecision 2008," a segment on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Brian Drugan, president of the URI College Democrats has been trying to get Kreisler here since he saw him perform last February at Roger Williams.

"This is our first big event and we are real excited to have him here," Drugan said.

"You see how ridiculous politics can be. It can be good once in a while to laugh about it, Drugan said"

Kreisler said the point of his comedy is to bring laughter to politics.

"If we take things too seriously, nothing will get done," said freshman Roger Bacon who attended last night's show.

The show started as Kreisler sipped a bottle of Aquafina and cracking jokes about URI's recent water contamination.

He continued with fast paced rants on the emergency system in New York, and politicians who prefer American voters to be ignorant.

He spiced things up with hits on the Bush Administration by comparing Dick Cheney to the Wizard of Oz. In another joke he pointed out how Bush makes fun of himself, saying, "Bush did wave at Stevie Wonder."

Much of his comedy, Kreisler said, tests the edges of political correctness.

"I try and push it as far as I can, if I offend anyone it is not intentional," Kreisler said.

At one point during the show Kreisler compared the United States to the Soviet Union. Audience members responded to the quips with outbursts of laughter.

Though the event was hosted by the College Democrats, not all of his jokes were "Bush bashing."

While talking about presidential candidate Barack Obama, Kreisler said, "I can't help but think this man is going to be assassinated it's what we do to our best."

During the show Kreisler hit on many controversial topics including women's rights, gun control, Hurricane Katrina, tsunami relief, the war in the Middle East, sex, drugs, religion and minorities.

With dramatic voices and funny faces, Kreisler acted as if he were performing in a play.

He moved through the audience, interacting with the crowd. Many audience members countered his jokes with their own.

When a woman's cell phone went off, playing a Queen ringtone during the last half hour of the show, it gave Kreisler some improvisational material. He danced around and joked with audience members about the woman's taste in music.

In between jokes, Kreisler switched to lecture-mode and preached to audience members about the problems plaguing American society today.

"Ignorance is Americas problem," he said.

Kreisler finished off the show with a quick joke comparing America to a date rape victim and calling Hurricane Katrina a wake up call for the country. Kreisler left the audience, reminding students the importance of voting in this year's election.

Kreisler, a graduate of Princeton University and Virginia Law School, said he prefers doing stand up over writing for showsespecially shows for college students, who he said, "are a little more aware of what is going on in the world, and can find more humor in my jokes."

Kreisler has been traveling the world performing his Comedy Against Evil tour, which started during 2004 in Austin Texas.

The Student Senate Finance committee funded this free show for all URI students.