On Friday, March 22, comedian Arvin Mitchell returned to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus- much to the enthusiasm of the audience. Some jokes were repeated from his last visit but somehow the delivery made them seem different. Mitchell’s sense of comedy seemed to take a more “awkward-funny” turn, which worked very well for him.
Mitchell’s prepared jokes were good, but the jokes that were a result of audience interaction had the audience nearly crying with laughter. Members of the audience that night seemed to be leaving and entering the Davis Learning Center much more often than usual. As a result, Mitchell found himself continuously and comically distracted. He told the audience, “I’m sorry, I have ADD,” and then proceeded to ask those that had just entered where they were coming from. These very simple questions generated very strange responses. One student said he had just returned from “appraising children,” which had sounded so strange even Arvin Mitchell couldn’t hold back laughter. He said, “It sounds like you said appraising children!” then, imitating a salesman, “this child is worth $20! He is especially good at arithmetic!” The audience had become hysterical and Mitchell, still holding back laughter himself, then asked the student what he really said because he must have misheard him. The student repeated, “appraising children,” matter-of-factly. Mitchell was shocked and amused at the same time and then followed with a very logical question, “for what?” The student quickly replied an answer that may have sounded perfectly normal to him but, to the audience completely oblivious to his activities, his response had everyone burst into a renewed round of roaring laughter. He said, “Destination Imagination.”
Minutes after the first student, another student walked in. Mitchell couldn’t help himself from asking, “Where are you coming from?” The student, mishearing the question, replied, “I’m from Oregon.” Needless to say, Mitchell’s thriving moments dealt with audience interaction.
One student may have single-handedly held the entire performance together: A student that greatly resembled Sideshow Bob, a memorable character from the TV show “The Simpsons.” During Mitchell’s performance, Bob laughed randomly, manically, and insatiably after each of Mitchell’s jokes. So amused at this student’s laughter, other members of the audience began to laugh as well. Mitchell couldn’t help but poke fun at this student almost every time this occurred.
The way Mitchell approached his comedy was unique to him. He could simply look at the audience for a prolonged period of time and he would incite another bout of laughter. Among Mitchell’s comedic skills, he was also very good at faces and impressions. Mitchell’s impressions were spot on from Shaggy and Scooby to Barack Obama. His well-rounded act had everything a college student could have hoped for; be it witty, crude, insightful, or demeaning. His stories, which ranged from his family to his antics on planes while he travels, were well received by the audience as almost everyone could see themselves relating to his experiences. Mitchell is and will continue to be a comedian enjoyed by the students at this campus for years to come.