From teaching in high school classrooms to touring college campuses, comedian Orlando Baxter appeared on the Hilltop Wednesday evening, making Bradley students laugh until their stomachs hurt.
ACBU brought Baxter to entertain students in the Student Center Ballroom. Baxter has been performing comedy for 14 years. Prior to working as a comedian, he was a high school history teacher.
“I had always wanted to try [comedy] and I was always encouraging my students to pursue whatever it is they wanted to pursue and I always felt like a hypocrite because it was something I wanted to try and I was afraid to do it,” Baxter said. “Eventually, I got tired of it and I said ‘Oh, I’ll go try it,’ and I went and tried it and I haven’t stopped since.”
Baxter’s show included topics such as Black History Month, roommates and in-school suspension. He has performed on cruises, college campuses and comedy festivals.
Matt Gibson, ACBU comedy coordinator and sophomore computer science and mathematics double major, said they enjoyed Baxter’s performance at the National Association of Campus Activities, a conference where performers come to show off to college activities councils to book events on campuses around the U.S.
“Orlando has also appeared on many comedy festivals around the world, so he has a lot of credibility to back up his stand up,” Gibson said.
Before the show, students had free banana bread and popcorn. After the show, ACBU members announced raffle winners for a Buffalo Wild Wings gift card.
“I decided to attend the show tonight because I love standup comedy. I listen to it almost every morning to start my day off with some laughs,” sophomore psychology and communications double major Corrie Marshall said.
A comedy show is also a great way to forget frustrations and laugh it out.
“I thought it was really funny. This is the first comedian I’ve seen here to really interact with the crowd as much as he did,” Marshall said. “I think Bradley students should attend these events because school really gets so stressful, and it’s so nice to just kick back and laugh.”
Baxter talked to audience members directly about Kaboom!, sports teams and the dating scene. Once Baxter concluded his scheduled act, he brought up two students to interview for his first recording of his new podcast, “My Favorite Teacher.”
“I really enjoy the creative process of stand up in terms of being onstage and riffing and kind of talking to all types of people from all types of backgrounds,” Baxter said. “The traveling is really cool too because I get to see the world. It’s hard sometimes because you’re always on the road, you’re driving and you’re never home. But I wouldn’t change it for anything else.”