Last Comic Standing competition returns from 3-year hiatus
After a three-year hiatus, the Yale College Council brought back its “Last Comic Standing” show on Nov. 11.
Tim Tai, Photography Editor
The Yale College Council held its “Last Comic Standing” competition on Nov. 11 in Sudler Hall.
The YCC Events Committee selected eight campus comedians to vie for the audience’s favor in their seven-to-nine-minute stand-up sets. After the hour-and-a-half-long show, the attendees were sent a Google Form to rank their top three comedians. The crowd ultimately voted Will Cramer ’23 the winner of 2022’s Last Comic Standing.
“I feel like a champ. I’ve always wanted to win something,” Cramer said. “Sometimes when I tell people that I do stand-up, they’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, tell me a joke.’ But that’s not really how it works, so I won’t, but then they’ll think I was lying about the whole stand-up thing. I’s nice to finally have something to point to as proof.”
One of Yale’s biggest comedy events of the year, Last Comic Standing had not been hosted since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With 200 tickets offered for free online, the show was sold out before the event.
Cramer, who started stand-up in his senior year of high school, has pursued this interest throughout his four years at Yale. He has been a part of the improvisational comedy group the Purple Crayon, as well as the Cucumber, which is the Yale Record’s stand-up comedy group.
Cramer said that when he prepares for a comedy show, he typically jots down ideas before trying them on stage. He wrote his set for Last Comic Standing that day, choosing jokes he had already tested at previous performances.
When asked to give advice to college students who want to pursue stand-up comedy, Cramer recommended the Cucumber as a welcoming environment with a supportive audience.
“The only way to get better at stand-up is to do it,” Cramer said. “A lot of people want to try stand-up but claim they don’t know how to write for it or are afraid they’re going to bomb. They’re probably right — it takes some time to figure out a good set. But you’re better off bombing now than waiting a year and bombing then.”
Agastya Rana ’24, the events director of the Yale College Council, organized Last Comic Standing for the first time this year. He said he considers the show a “spectacular success.
Rana had yet to matriculate to Yale the last time the YCC hosted Last Comic Standing. However, he did help plan a virtual Harvard-Yale Roast-Off in 2020 alongside the Harvard College Events Board.
“It was incredibly rewarding putting this show together for the first time since the pandemic,” Rana said. “The Events Committee strives to add joy and excitement to student life on campus through its events, and based on the continuous laughter ringing through Sudler Hall for an hour and a half straight, I do believe we met that goal with this event.”
Traditionally, the winner of Last Comic Standing opens for the headline act at the YCC’s fall comedy show. This year, Cramer will open for the professional comedian — whose name the YCC has yet to release — who will perform on Dec. 2.
The sold-out show in Sudler Hall was packed with 110 students on Friday night.
Mina Bengi Aral ’26 was one of these attendees. Last Comic Standing was the first comedy event she has attended at Yale, and she said that she hopes to see more.
Will Cramer’s new song “I Hate Dentists But I Love My Grandpa,” in honor of his grandfather who was a dentist, is now available on Spotify.
Cramer’s brother, Andrew, is a Sports Editor at the News.