Ryan Kelly hosts virtual comedy show

Photo courtesy of Ryan Kelly

Student Activities Board holds online comedy show starring TikTok comedian Ryan Kelly

Sydney Carpenter | News Editor

On Jan. 2, the Student Activity Board announced on Instagram that their first major event for the term would be comedian Ryan Kelly ⏤ known online as Youth Pastor Ryan ⏤ who will perform in a virtual stand-up comedy event featuring interesting life experiences.

Despite his namesake and going to a Christian school for 18 years, Kelly is not actually a youth pastor. In his Twitch trailer, Kelly explains he looks like what people would imagine a youth pastor might look like.

In St. Louis, Illinois, he began doing comedy as an improviser. According to ryankellycomedy.com, he had received training from iO Theater ⏤ formerly known as The ImprovOlympic ⏤ The Second City, The Groundlings Theatre and School and Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. In college, he was interested in new life experiences and began performing stand-up comedy. According to neon-entertainment.com, he often draws inspiration for his comedy routines through experiences including: surviving a plane crash, being tackled inside the National Security Agency and negotiating deals while being mugged.

“I needed something,” said Kelly when asked why he does comedy. “I needed something to give purpose and joy.”

 His favorite part of comedy is when the whole room laughs. 

“Because laughter is a very binding thing,” explained Kelly. “(I try to) make the bigger guys laugh because when you do that it shows a diffusal and makes people feel like they are safe.”

Kelly explains that this comedic approach brings shyer people out of their comfort zone in a natural way.

“Once everyone’s at peace then being able to hit jokes where people feel comfortable and they all laugh is a beautiful moment. Having a full crowd laugh together, they’ve all become friends and they don’t even know it,” explained Kelly.

To view the virtual comedy show taking place on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m., go to Engage and click the Zoom link located in the event’s advertisement. To learn more about Ryan Kelly, view him on Twitch @youthpastorryan where he posts gameplays, TikTok @youthpastorryan or on YouTube @Youth Pastor Ryan.

Contact the author at scarpenter18@mail.wou.edu

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