As part of Coming Out Week, comedian Sampson McCormick performed a stand-up set Thursday night at the Donald P. Corbett business building in room 100, courtesy of LGBT services.
McCormick is an openly gay comedian from Washington, D.C., with a unique act that students of the University of Maine seemed to enjoy. With no one-liners during his show, McCormick doubled his jokes as stories from his own life experiences.
“I love doing comedy,” McCormick said. “I love it here too, it’s very peaceful here. I’ve done shows at some crazy places. Last week, I did a show at a D.C. jail.”
McCormick related with the audience, covering material that branched from the presidential election, vegans, marijuana, family, babysitting and children, even the responsibilities of being a cat owner. Many of McCormick’s stories were themed around situations of what life is like as a gay person.
“Being gay isn’t a choice. …I don’t know, maybe my mother ate too many skittles before she had me!” McCormick said during his routine.
There was emphasis on HIV testing, and McCormick joked about his own experiences getting tested. The comedian sent a message of importance toward the audience to get tested. McCormick wasn’t afraid to pick on the straight people either, taking a jab at the popular phrase, “no homo,” commonly used by straight men.
Being gay wasn’t the only thing Sampson was open about. Religion played a major part in his routine and life. McCormick told the audience Christianity is something he believes in, yet he challenges the viewpoint some Christians have toward gay people.
“Anything that teaches them to hate themselves, isn’t right,” said McCormick after the show. “I’d say Adam and Steve came eventually.”
In an interview after the show, McCormick talked of how he got into comedy.
“I accidentally got into comedy — I was the class clown. My teacher told me if I don’t get on stage, she was going to fail me,” McCormick said.
He further explained the comedic style he chooses to use.
“I tell a lot of stories, some comedians are funny, but they act quick with one-liners. That’s just not my style,” McCormick said. “I’m a very talkative comedian. I find that people take away things a little bit better when you do it like that. …I try not to talk too much about sex because people already look at us as oversexualized. I just started talking about experiences. People asked ‘Is this normal?’ That’s f—— normal. I think, ‘This might make people uncomfortable,’ but it’s a true story and we can talk about it.”
When asked who he is influenced by, McCormick dropped the names of Bill Cosby and Whoopi Goldberg, without hesitation. Sampson McCormick isn’t just a comedian, but an activist and has written a book, titled “Taboo Village: A Perspective On Being Gay in Black America.” McCormick even has a YouTube channel with an upcoming web series called “Laced Fronts.”