Stand-up show provides comedic start to 2018’s Black Alumni Reunion weekend

Posted on Mar 2 2018 - 2:43pm by Lindsay Dawson

The Black Alumni Reunion highlighted a stand-up comedian from the UM community and other Mississippi comedians with a Thursday night show dedicated to inspire laughs and a night of community. With this showcase of three successful comedians, the reunion weekend is off to a hilarious and energetic start.

The University of Mississippi has more than 800 guests in attendance for the action-packed weekend. Opening events, including last night’s #BAR18 Stand Up Comedy Show featuring alumnus and Oxford local Karlous Miller of MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out,” began last night. The comedy show also featured Billy Sorrells, another former “Wild ‘N Out” cast member, and J.J. Williamson of Jackson as host of the evening’s performances.

Alumni from all over Mississippi as well as New York, Washington D.C., and even overseas from Sydney, Australia have arrived on campus for the Black Alumni Reunion, and Thursday’s stand-up show proved a great way for visitors to reconnect at the university they attended together and celebrate successes from the post graduation years.

“I thought show was great,” Terry Hilliard, class of 1983, said. “My husband and I are both alumni, and have attended every Black Alumni Reunion. This year is holding a lot more events than the past years.”

The stand up show, held in Fulton Chapel, kicked off with a welcome from Williamson. While not an alumnus, Williamson is a successful Mississippi comedian familiar with the Ole Miss community. Following up every comedian with an introduction and “grown-up” jokes, the Jackson native added a local sense of humor to the night.

J.J. Williamson performs at Fulton Chapel on Thursday night as part of the Black Alumni Reunion. Photo by Alexis T. Rhoden

Karlous Miller sported his very own Rebel football jersey during his set. Poking at Ole Miss problems every student has faced, Miller was glad to be back, making his fellow peers laugh about their days at the university. From stories of the Square to parties of the past, connecting stories and locations that shaped the alumni, Miller’s set proved to be a way of reflecting on the undergraduate days at Ole Miss for the alumni present.

“This was a great atmosphere to see fellow black alumni and friends, and be able to see everyone again,” Etoshia Jackson, a member of the audience, said.

Billy Sorrells’ comedy centered around life experiences and shared problems. Focused on relationship struggles, technological advances becoming issues of humanity and growing older together, his comedy told a story of unified adulthood. Ending with a testament on connections, the routine encouraged the room full of alumni to build strong relationships in life.

Nacoma James, an alumnus of the University, said the humorous atmosphere made it easy to reconnect with old friends.

Another alumnus, Enos Jackson said, the event was “awesome.”

“Things like this should happen more often,” Jackson said. “The comedians were amazing and very funny.”

These three comedians created an air of unity through their show full of familiarity and humor of the area and its people, demonstrating an understanding of maturity after graduation. The stand-up show was followed by an after party at The Lyric Oxford for all Rebel graduates to conclude the night of fun.