Comedian Jimmy Tatro used his stand-up act at Slippery Rock University Thursday not only to entertain the audience, but also to highlight various issues he finds important, including ignoring everyday instances of racism and the glorification of reality stars in America, although not in those exact words.
“Anything can be a TV show these days, and anyone can be famous,” Tatro said. “We have shows like ‘Extreme Couponing,’ ‘Real Zebras of South Africa’, and ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians.’ You can’t even tell which ones of those I made up.”
In his act, Tatro also confronted the issue of casual racism on the social network “Vine,” which produces short, 6-second videos.
“Everyone wants to be famous, and everyone can get famous now. 14-year-old boys who want to look and act like 17-year-olds get famous with ‘Black People be Like’ videos that are just racist,” Tatro said.
Tatro is best known for his YouTube channel, “Life According to Jimmy,” where he parodies the “frat boy” stereotype, and the partying mindset of college students. Tatro’s channel has over 2.2 million subscribers, and his online fame allowed him to land roles in both “Grown Ups 2,” with Adam Sandler and “22 Jump Street,” alongside Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
Although Tatro joked about how since being in “22 Jump Street,” he only gets questions about how it was working with Tatum, and he says that he had a blast working on the movie. His favorite moment on set was when he was filming a scene with Hill, and instead of delivering the line he was supposed to, Hill went off on an improvisational tangent that Tatro said was “funnier than the original script.” According to Tatro, most of “22 Jump Street” was improvised, and was so successful because of the talent of the actors.
Tatro’s style of comedy might be described as very dynamic; he started off his set with a straddle kick, and ended it with a backflip. He also showed how ridiculous it looks when college students fight at parties, and the dance moves of “that one friend who can’t handle their shit.” Though 22-year-old Tatro’s comedy style leans toward being satirical about Greek life, and the partying side of college, he says that he uses that material because he’s college aged and was very exposed to that lifestyle before dropping out of the University of Arizona to pursue his acting career. He’s also a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, and left the university one year before his chapter got kicked off of the campus for misconduct.
Tatro joked of his own misconduct, and told a story about how he went to a sorority party dressed like an elf, and ended up getting arrested for public drunkenness. When he ended up in a jail cell with two tattooed inmates, he said he wanted to impress them, and started pacing angrily back and forth. When they finally asked him what was wrong, he said, “Santa’s going to be so pissed.”
Aside from his stand-up tour, Tatro will also be featured in the movie “Blue Mountain State,” and hopes to pursue comedy as well as serious roles down the road.