Thursday, March 22, 2018

Michelle Tomko: Comedy That Clicks

By Kate Rowland

Stand up talent Michelle Tomko visited Stockton University’s Kramer Hall on March 15, spreading her knowledge of comedy with the Hammonton. Despite being Cleveland, Ohio native, Michelle has rocked the house down in Atlantic City, receiving the 2016-2018 Atlantic City Weekly Nightlife Award for “Best Comedian”. Tomko’s comedy has also been featured on TMZ and NPR’s “It’s only a Game.” Most recently though, Michelle was found presenting a comedy workshop for Kramer Hall’s Third Thursday event, where possible stand-up superstars gathered to learn how to enhance their wisecracking talents. This is Tomko’s 3rd consecutive year attending Kramer Hall’s Third Thursday, and when asked why she continually comes back, she states, “I like to teach...I get to combine it, I can do the jokes and then tell everybody why I’m doing whatever joke. I always come here whenever they ask me.” During her workshop, she encourages attendees to brainstorm joke from their unique experiences, draw from the mundane, and follow the rule of thirds.

In addition to encouraging her audience to become personal comedians, she also encourages them to think about comedy in a new light. While stand-up is usually all in good fun, sometimes the medium can be used to express important, topical affairs. “I didn’t do the joke tonight, but I talk about gay marriage and I kind of flip it around. I say that I’m not for it, I say ‘well that’s a perk of that lifestyle that it’s illegal to get married, think of all the hassles you save’...always when I do that joke have people come up to me and say, ‘I never thought about it like that,’ and that makes me get people’s brain working.” Using comedy as an assessable medium to convey heavy subjects leads to a wider audience understanding, and helps to push certain ideas that other platforms may fail at. Stockton hopes Michelle Tomko comes around for another year and teaches her audience how to laugh again.

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