Demetri Martin jokes for votes at registration event and comedy show


Comedian Demetri Martin performs his comedy act during Jokes for Votes event to promote voter registration in Jack Adams Hall on Monday, Oct. 18, 2016. Martin headlined the event with a comedy act.

As volunteers stood outside the entrance of Jack Adams hall speaking to students about props and voter registration, attendees piled into the hall filling the rows of chairs facing the stage.

The stage was lit by red, white, and blue lights and housed a stool, a microphone, and a lone guitar.

SF State was the sixth stop for Funny or Die’s free comedy tour “Jokes for Votes,” headlined by Demetri Martin, which aims to get college students to register to vote.

The show was hosted by Broke-Ass Stuart, better known as Stuart Schuffman, who ran for mayor of San Francisco in 2015.

Schuffman opened the show with his own take on the presidential race.  

“The presidential thing is a shit show, complete and utter shit show and while I’m not necessarily the biggest Hillary fan, at least when she fucks over the American people she does it with some professionalism,” Schuffman said. “Whereas Donald Trump is like Animal from the Muppets, he’s just like WOMAN!”

SF State students laugh at stand up during Jokes for Votes comedy event to promote voter registration in Jack Adams Hall on Monday, Oct. 18, 2016. Comedian Demetri Martin headlined the event with a comedy act.
[/media-credit] SF State students laugh at stand up during Jokes for Votes comedy event to promote voter registration in Jack Adams Hall on Monday, Oct. 18, 2016. Comedian Demetri Martin headlined the event with a comedy act.

Schuffman also stressed the importance of voting locally.

“Even if you’re in college for only a couple of years, it’s still really important to vote locally because you’re still making a footprint on where you’re at,” Schuffman said. “We’re all part of the problem and we can all be apart of the solution.”

When Schuffman asked who was registered to vote almost the entire room raised their hand and cheered.

Seating was available on a first-come, first-served basis and chairs were packed by the start of the show, with latecomers plopping down on the ground.

Funny or Die also placed fliers on every seat with statistics on California voters.

“There are more than seven million Californians who are eligible, but not registered to vote. This is more than the population of 36 of our U.S. States,” the flier stated. “In order for California to lead the nation in taking bold action on climate change, income inequality and issue of social justice, we have to transform the un-registered electorate into registered voters, and turn them out to vote.”

The flier also stated that unregistered Californians are disproportionately urban, young and people of color, and the number continues to grow.

Tania Spezza, 25, has been a long-time fan of Demetri Martin and was able to come out to see the free show.

“I think this event is great. It brought a lot of people together, some who weren’t registered, and got them to register to vote,” Spezza said.

“I remember when Rock the Vote was a thing but I wasn’t old enough to vote yet,” Spezza said. “And now I think so many people like comedy and it’s a common thread people connect on.

Once Schuffman introduced Demetri Martin, the room erupted in applause and whistling.

Martin spent the beginning of his segment interacting with SF State students and poking fun at the school’s mascot choice.

An audience member suggested the Mashouf Wellness Center as a topic for Martin to speak about.

“Is that finished? No? I drove by it and I just thought it was extremely modern,” Martin said.

Martin asked what the Wellness Center would offer and audience members shouted out indoor track and rock climbing as some of the amenities.

“Indoor track, rock climbing. All things that were available outside. It’s a very arrogant building really,” Martin said laughing. “There’s a 50 mile hike inside the halls, there’s a waterfall in the basement.”

Each show has a different line-up of comedians, while Demetri Martin headlined for SF State, Sarah Silverman will headline for the show in Berkeley along with other comedians such as Taylor Tomlinson, Thomas Dale and Jordan Rock.

The tour is set to visit other universities such as Cal State San Marcos, UC Merced, Fresno State, UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State and any more before California’s registration deadline on Oct. 24.