Southern California comedian Christopher Titus stood in front of a mixed crowd of students, alumni and others not related to the university and proclaimed himself the “Martin Luther King of love.”
“I have a dream,” Titus said on the Lory Student Center stage, explaining that his desire for everyone to be loved came out of a “nightmare.”
The 21-year comic veteran performed to a crowd of nearly 700, telling stories about his 40 plus years of relationships and love — everything from his parents and step parents to his ex-wife and new girlfriend.
Growing up amid relationship turmoil, including a father who had divorced multiple times, a mother who he said was schizophrenic, Titus said he developed a tough skin, taking the drama in stride though humor.
“My mom was so ill, my dad made all this nightmare funny,” Titus said to a small following after the show. “The darkest s**t was funny to him.”
Along with his childhood problems, Titus focused mainly on his ugly three-year divorced with his wife Kate and his new relationship, calling finding her like going to “relationship Starbucks.”
“I’ll take a tall, extra hot, with a shot of mocha,” Titus said, oohing to the audience. “Oh, and non-fat.”
Sophomore biomedical sciences major Danika Barbour said the show was “fantastic,” adding she could relate to the bit about new relationships.
“I myself am in a new relationship; (the show) was relevant to being in a new relationship. We found ourselves looking at each other during the show and laughing,” Barbour said, referring to her boyfriend and herself.
CSU alumna Debra Zimmerman agreed the show related to the audience.
“He talked about a lot of personal experiences we could all relate to no matter how old you are,” said Zimmerman.
Association for Student Activity Programming, who hosted the show, exceeded expectations, selling more than 100 more tickets than their predicted 600.
ASAP Comedy Coordinator Molly Southern said the student organization paid Titus between $20,000 and $30,000, but expected to make back 90 percent through student and non-student proceeds.
Through a series of panels and studies, Titus was selected over Saturday Night Live cast member Seth Meyers for the job.
In an interview last week, Southern said the proposal for the show came from controversy over ASAP hosted concerts in the past.
“The biggest thing students wanted was a comedy show,” Southern said.
Although she said it looked like most of the audience were students, Southern said she and ASAP received a lot phone calls from “non-students.”
Jennifer Stewart, daughter a CSU alumnus but non-student, said she thoroughly enjoyed the show.
“I laughed so hard I had to run to the bathroom afterwards,” Stewart said.
Staff writer Laura James and Entertainment Editor Johnny Hart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.