At Sanders with Leslie Jones.
On February 17, Leslie Jones of “Saturday Night Live” acclaim graced the stage of Sanders Theater for an hour and a half of stand-up. The appearance, presented by the College Events Board and the Office of Student Life, had free tickets lotteried via survey completion for undergraduates. Live @ Sanders Theater with Jones included both personal reflections on her own life along with plenty of mockery at the expense of Harvard students for their intense studying and absence of sexual activity.
Immediately upon taking the stage, the Ghostbusters’ star began to comment on how it felt being on Harvard’s campus to provide this appearance. Sauntering over to the statues on either side of the stage of Josiah Quincy and James Otis, Jones’s voice bellowed as she asked, “Who is this?” to the audience. The comments of Jones of these ridiculous statues and their positioning reminded Harvard students of their own first impressions of Sanders Theater that have now become the norm. Even at the end of the show, Jones again asked, “Is this a church?” To her credit, not many Harvard students know Sanders Theater for more than a select few performances they may see a year or the large lectures of popular fall semester classes.
For an hour and a half, Jones shared personal stories and what it is like to become famous. While Jones addressed the invasion of her privacy this past summer, she did so with humor. The 49-year-old comedian reflected on her own college years, joking about what she would do if she was currently a Harvard student. While Jones spent the first half of the appearance reflecting on her experiences when she was younger, she went on to talk about her current perspective. “I am out of ‘give a fucks’…I don’t know what it is, I just don’t give a fuck,” explained Jones.
Throughout the appearance, Jones was sex-positive amongst her raunchy jokes. “You didn’t just get to say you were a ho, you had to prove that you were a ho,” said Jones before going into a story of how she attempted to strategize her way into sleeping with Prince in the early ‘90s.
Later into the set, Jones asked if Harvard students, who she repeatedly reminded are meant to be very smart, if they had any idea who invented texting. Launching into a 10-minute rant on how texting has revealed how “crazy” women are with the ease of instantly sending our angry responses, Jones emphasized that women are so because of men. The brazen attitude of the comedian about her own sex life and experiences not only brought the room plenty of laughter but also was a variation of empowerment. The self-confidence that Jones showed was refreshing and inspiring, even if her words were often aimed at elaborating on her sexual exploration.
Near the end of her routine, Leslie stepped off the stage to walk around the main floor of Sanders and began commenting on those in the audience. After stopping in front of a boy wearing bright shorts and tall socks, Jones laughed to herself while outlining what his thought process must have been preparing for the night. “You didn’t give a fuck about my show,” Jones joked about the boy’s outfit before moving on to other students sitting near the stage.
After moving onto a girl taking notes in the audience, Jones summed up much of the Harvard undergraduate population when she mimicked the students, saying, “I don’t got time for dick, I want to be a doctor.” While many of Jones’s jokes were sexually pointed, her honest impressions of Memorial Hall and Harvard students was refreshing and brought students many laughs.
Leslie Jones captured the outsider perception of Harvard students and her commentary brought the room much laughter at their own expense. While Harvard provides students with many opportunities to meet with speakers with international renown for a variety of achievements, the student body still appreciates performances such as Leslie Jones’s. Perhaps the college will respond to the popularity of such events by providing more resources to supporting them to happen more frequently.
Hunter Richards (firstname.lastname@example.org) wasn’t ready to witness Harvard students getting dragged so much.