On Friday, April 12, actor, comedian, and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. delivered the Thirteenth Annual Twain Lecture, an annual event organized by Professor of English Benjamin Click.
Wood, who began his comedy career in 1999, has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” and was a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” He is most well-known for his role as a correspondent for “The Daily Show.”
The event began with opening statements from President Tuajuanda C. Jordan, who discussed the need for humor in turbulent political times. “The truth seems to be, well, whatever we want it to be these days,” said Jordan, “you can have a dream and you can make it a fact, because you had the dream, so it has to be real.”
Jordan introduced Dr. Click, who has organized the Twain lecture since its inception in 2007. Click has taught courses on American humor, rhetoric, southern literature and Mark Twain since joining the College in 1998.
Dr. Click, after opening remarks, introduced Roy Wood Jr., who performed thirty minutes of comedy, discussing topics such as race, films, comic book readers, and Golden Corral customers during his routine and drawing many laughs from the audience.
“I enjoyed his routine, and how he kept pushing the boundaries with the audience and then called attention to the fact we were uncomfortable or not as responsive,” said Lindsay Wooleyhand, who works as a fellow for Click, “he seemed to be in tune with us.”
Wooleyhand also noted that the Q&A session after the lecture “felt more meaningful than some of the past Twain lectures.” Wood took questions from students about celebrities, the comedy industry and the Daily Show after the lecture. “I think it was a combination of better questions were being asked, and [Wood] was able to successfully articulate his thoughts on the spot.”
The Twain Lecture takes place annually, with occasional additional lectures such as “Laughing to the Polls.” St. Mary’s has previously hosted author David Sedaris and co-founder of The Onion Scott Dikkers.