By Samantha Simmons & Mick Reilly | April 24, 2023
A packed room as K-Von prepares to start the show.
Photo Credit: Samantha Simmons / The ASP
Last Tuesday, University at Albany’s chapter of Turning Point USA (TPUSA) hosted K-Von, a comedian most known for a popular TED Talk and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” The event, which required an RSVP, was filled with a diverse student body and small public audience. The show ran as scheduled and uninterrupted as roughly 15 university police officers (UPD) were present in surrounding hallways during the show in the Campus Center.
UPD presence was due to a a recent UAlbany student protest regarding UAlbany TPUSA’s event hosting alleged transphobic, or against transgender people, Ian Haworth.
K-Von prodded UAlbany students and staff regarding the protest, but had varying jokes on other topics.
Many of K-Von’s jokes included bits about Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender actress and TikTok star, who recently received backlash by conservative media for an influencer marketing deal with Bud Light putting her photo on cans.
K-Von’s jokes covered almost every culture the attendees resembled with accents to go along with the bit. The half-white half-Persian comedian left no stone unturned on Tuesday night informing everyone they would be offended at least once during the show saying, “we’re going to make fun of everybody equally because that’s what equality is about.”
K-Von also pointed out non-white members in the crowd to include them in jokes saying things like “if you don’t have one [black person] it looks like a rally,” and “we might have to do some taekwondo” referring to potential protestors interrupting the event while pointing out Asian students in the crowd to lead the way if so.
Avery Middendorf, President of Turning Point USA at UAlbany said, “this is how events are supposed to go,” Regarding the crowd-engagement and lack of protest from other student groups.
Irsaan Mohammed, a student at the university, attended both the free speech event earlier this month and K-Von’s comedy show.
“It was really nice to be able to attend the event. Nothing chaotic. It was organized,” Mohammed said, after not being able to get to hear Haworth deliver his speech earlier this month.
Mohammed was one of the handful of students in the crowd singled out for K-Von to include in his comedy routine calling him “Trini-daddy” because of his Trinidadian heritage.
Kevin Waltz, Vice President of Turning Point USA at UAlbany, said the chapter is hoping the university will hold students accountable who protested Haworth’s event.
“We’re all for people’s right to protest,” Waltz said, on the Haworth event backlash. “The problem is what happened two weeks ago. They broke every school policy,” referring to the unapproved posters hung around campus, disobeyal of the student code of conduct, and the failure to reserve the transfer lounge to organize their counter protest.