Ben Boult ’14 is the first person to admit that he’s a pussy. He’s never been in a fight, he’s comically pale, and he’s a really lazy freshman in DS. His memory isn’t too good either. It’d be pretty sick to be like him though.
He’s really funny.
Within minutes of sitting down in the Silliman dining hall he had me laughing so much I almost dropped a chicken wing. This isn’t prepared material either; he’s talking about this guy who went to middle school with me.
He usually doesn’t like to talk about other people, though. Just himself.
“I don’t get off on making someone feel bad. So I make fun of myself,” he explained.
Taking his inspiration from observational comics like Louis C.K.,
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Boult is not a huge fan of jokesters who are out to hurt.
Instead, augmenting his self-deprecating monologues, he likes humor that hits at some esoteric truth.
“You have to make people think about what you’re saying,” he said. “I want them to think about something deeper.”
But there is one bit of dumb comedy that gets Boult laughing: tripping.
“I just can’t stop myself from laughing when someone trips,” he said. “No matter what, even if they see me…and I get beat up.”
Despite having such a developed comedic philosophy, Boult is a newcomer to comedy. Before coming to Yale, he had never written a joke. He does, however, attribute his upbringing to his joke-telling prowess.
Boult said his sisters would make fun of him for anything and everything, ultimately giving him thick skin and a desire to never take himself too seriously.
His best friend back home in Baltimore would watch stand up comedy all the time too, sometimes to the point of being annoying. It was there where he first discovered the likes of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and Bill Hicks, all of whom inform his style now.
When Boult wants to write a joke, he’ll wait until he is very tired, watch a lot of his favorite comedians, and then sit down to write, he said. Oftentimes he will end up assuming a similar style to whomever he was just listening too. And despite looming mountains of Directed Studies work, he is always scribbling jokes.
“I can’t stop writing stand-up,” he said.
When he arrived at Yale, he jumped head first into the comedy culture. He tried out for the improvisational comedy groups the Viola Question and the Purple Crayon, but didn’t get into either.
“I can’t do long form comedy,” Boult said.
But he recovered from these stumbles and will be opening Saturday’s annual Fall Show for headliner Michael Ian Black.
As for tomorrow’s headliner, Boult reported that he just watched Michael Ian Black’s “Wet Hot American Summer” for the first time. He thought it was “just great.”