When the stress of college is overwhelming, sometimes the best cure is laughter.
Comedian DJ Demers performed for students Wednesday evening in the Student Center Ballroom. He was hosted by Activities Council Bradley University. The selection of Demers was a last minute choice.
“Taylor Tomlinson was originally supposed to come this week. However, she is taping for her Netflix show, and there was a conflict in schedule for that night,” ACBU 2018 Comedy Coordinator Ian Fournie said. “There were a few different options to replace Taylor, but I felt like [Demers] was the best, and so I went ahead and put it in motion for him to come.”
Tomlinson and Demers share a manager for college bookings. Demers also performs for comedy clubs, cruise ships, bars, theaters and more.
“I remember even being 10 years old and thinking, I want to be a comedian,” Demers said. “I gave it a shot for the first time when I was a sophomore in college and from then, it was just no question in my mind. It was what I had to do.”
Past accomplishments of Demers include winning the 2014 Homegrown Comics Competition and the 2013 Toronto Comedy Brawl. He has also appeared on Conan twice and on America’s Got Talent where he made it to the judges cuts.
“I think one of the great things about DJ Demers is that, with the jokes he tells, there are some underlying messages you can take away,” Fournie, a freshman management and leadership and television arts double major, said. “You are 100 percent guaranteed to get some really good laughs in, but he has a few messages you might take away with you at the end of the show.”
Demers’ content focused on a variety of topics, ranging from America’s health insurance to peeing in public. He also discussed ways to die, including choking and crashing on planes.
“I thought the show was hilarious,” sophomore international business and marketing major Colleen Masterson said. “He had the same self deprecating humor that I do. It was great.”
Demers wears hearing aids and referenced the challenges of hearing loss during his show. He said although he’s faced adversity, it doesn’t stick with him.
“In life, there’s some things I don’t hear. That’s plain and simple,” Demers said. “So it’s a little tough if everyone’s laughing at something and I don’t know what they’re laughing at because I didn’t hear the joke, but I really try not to focus on it. I feel like as long as you have a positive outlook on it, it’s all good.”
Demers said his favorite part of comedy is having fun in the moment. He enjoys going off script and interacting with audiences.
“The audience here was really great,” Demers said. “I really appreciate Bradley bringing me in tonight.”