Priscilla Hopper staff writer
In the second annual talent show on Feb. 2, virtually every performance consisted of singing or playing an instrument, but senior Michael Ben-Iftah had a different idea. Ben-Iftah used the talent show to showcase his stand up comedy.
“I was like, ‘I got to try it sometime,’” he said jokingly.
Ben-Iftah fell in love with political satire and used KBEV as a platform to display his material in a show called “The Truth”.
“I did [the show] sporadically, whenever I could find the time. It was a comedy news show. I would mainly talk about politics. History and politics are my favorite subjects and I just wanted to make jokes about that stuff. For stand up though, you just gotta get out of that range,” Ben-Iftah said.
Performing at the “Beverly’s Got Talent” talent show was Ben-Iftah’s first live performance and he plans to pursue comedy in the future. Ben-Iftah’s material comes straight from the heart.
“[I’ve never done any comedy] classes or anything. What kind of inspired me to do this was that around freshman or sophomore year, my parents introduced me to ‘The Colbert Report’ and I just fell in love with [comedy]. I just wanted to do that so much. When I got into KBEV, they said I could do any show and I knew that [a show like ‘The Colbert Report’] was just what I was gonna do,” Ben-Iftah said.
As a student currently enrolled in KBEV, Ben-Iftah is given the opportunity to do interviews with celebrities, and students and faculty around campus. Most recently, Ben-Iftah interviewed Bob Newhart, a comedian popular in the sixties and seventies, who doubles as one of his many comedic icons.
“He’s like Woody Allen,” Ben-Iftah’s KBEV teacher Romeo Carey said. “He is funny just to sit next to. His own personality is one that just lends to the whole comedy craft.”
For his entertainment purposes as well as his own burgeoning comedic career, Ben-Iftah mostly enjoys dark humor and honesty.
“I’m gonna be frank…I just want my comedy to be honest. One of the funniest things is honesty,” Ben-Iftah said. “I want to point out all the lies and hypocrisy on both sides of the political discussion. They say, ‘look what this guy did!’ But I say, ‘Yeah, but you also did that.’ I just want to be blunt.”
Ben-Iftah aims to use his comedy as a mechanism for relief and excitement and to transform dark subjects into light ones.
“For me, I just think that comedy makes people happy. It can transform subjects that are dark and depressing and makes them fun. We can laugh at them,” he said. “Laughter can just bring people together, we can all laugh at stuff. And when you hear that laugh, it is like no other feeling.”
Click below to watch Ben-Iftah’s showcase!
Talent show performance – PART ONE
Talent show performance – PART TWO