Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Comedian talks sex, divorce, and show business


Raunchy jokes filled the Cabaret Thursday night as comedian Shawn Pelofsky performed a set of stand-up for a Greek Week event, sponsored by the Greek Council and Emerson Mane Events.

In front of an audience of 27, Pelofsky delivered a slew of politically incorrect jokes about sex, college, and everything in between. 

Besides laughing at her own life experiences, Pelofsky’s act involved jokes about the queer community, although she is straight. She credits this to one of her biggest inspirations, Bette Midler, who was a gay icon in the 70’s. 

“I really believe if you want to be a super successful female or diva, then I think the gay community comes first, and then everyone else gets on the boat and comes along for the ride,” she said. 

Last year, comedian Amy Anderson performed at Emerson for Greek Week. Jason Meier, the advisor for Emerson Mane Events, said that after working with the Greek Council to bring Anderson, the group decided to again bring in a comedian. 

Zach Anderson, a sophomore visual and media arts major and member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, was the chairman of Greek Week. He said that most of the events during the week of March 18 to March 22, like Pelofsky’s, were open to all students. 

Anderson said opening the events up to the Emerson community helps raise awareness about the organization. 

“Because there’s such a negative stigma about Greeks, I think that if we have these events and do some good things throughout the week, then people can finally get a chance to see what we’re really about instead of just going about with the stereo types that people have,” Anderson said.

In fact, Pelofsky was a member of Greek life when she was at the University of Southern California, a sister in Chi Omega, which she joked about during her act.

“I was in the fat, funny Asian girl’s sorority — which is true, believe it or not. I think it was because I had yellow, permed hair, and I thought it looked good … in all reality, I was the Lion King. I was like ‘Hakuna Matata’. ”

During Pelofsky’s act, she scanned the audience and asked very bluntly if anyone was gay. When no one raised their hand, she quickly shifted to questioning relationships, attributes, and even poking fun at their nationalities. 

Pelofsky made fun of Filipino men replacing singers in bands, something Andrea Olalia, a senior Filipino journalism major, connected with.  

“I think it was really funny,” Olalia said. “She really got the Filipino accent down, and I love jokes like that. Honestly, it doesn’t offend me at all.”

Pelofsky describes herself as one of the 10 jews from Oklahoma. She went to the USC’s School of Theater, after Carnegie Mellon rejected her application. At USC, she was a member of the improvisation group Commedus Interruptus. 

She now regularly performs at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, for U.S. troops all over the world and on gay cruise lines. She has opened for Margaret Cho and Bill Maher, been on the The Tonight Show and Chelsea Lately, and had a few lines in the hit NBC show Community. 

Her ability to connect multiple topics together that were relatable to the crowd kept the audience laughing throughout the hour. 

“My parents, after 30 years of marriage, got a divorce. That’s right. My dad left my mom for a younger woman, and then the younger woman left my dad for college.”

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