Ziwe and Larry Owens have audience laughing for almost a full hour


Illustration by Gemma DeCetra

Ziwe and Larry Owens took to the stage and delivered a show full of satire, comedy and Owens’ amazing voice.

Kunjal Bastola, Assistant Sports Editor

Famous. Black. Hottie. 

A&O Productions hosted Ziwe (Communication ‘14) and Larry Owens in the Ryan Auditorium on Friday. Starting the show with an allusion to Princess Diana’s Northwestern sweatshirt, Ziwe delivered hilariously relatable jokes and Owens wowed us all with his amazing voice.

“I thought that the show was great,” said Weinberg freshman Symone Harris, an attendee at the event. “I really appreciated the fact that a strong black woman was given a platform to come speak to us.”

Ziwe, whose full name is Ziwerekoru Fumudoh, is a comedian, writer and host of the late-night talk show “Ziwe.” She graduated with a double major in radio, television and film and African American studies in 2014.

“There are jokes in this set that will be for me and there are jokes that will be for you,” Ziwe said, prefacing the show. “But in order to get one you have to take one. Does that make sense?” 

During her segment of the show, Ziwe used a slideshow presentation to deliver her lines, which hit close to home for many NU students. 

Weinberg freshman David Walker said the performance was tailored to the attendees. 

“It was catered to our audience,” Walker said. “I feel like she was giving a tribute to us, Northwestern students in general, because she was doing a PowerPoint presentation.” 

Ziwe has live interviews with many notable celebrities on her show, including Julia Fox, Phoebe Bridgers and Michael Che. During the event, she reenacted these interviews with audience participation.

Students laughed along when an audience member posing as Julia Fox and Ziwe debated if Italians were people of color and “Michael Che” answered yes when asked if they supported gay rights or women’s rights more.

“I think Ziwe did a great job in making that uncomfortable but still very entertaining,” said Weinberg freshman Ella Marks.

Her Wikifeet presentation set had the audience on the verge of tears of laughter. As if going through Britney Spears and Victoria Justice’s Wikifeet profiles wasn’t enough, Ziwe called on the audience to promote her feet on the site. 

“I believe in activating young people to do things, and in this case I believe it’s to vote for (my feet),” she said, prompting a chorus of laughs. 

Owens stars on the ABC show “Abbott Elementary” and amazed the crowd with his songs, especially one about his therapist Marjorie.

“Marjorieeeee, my therapist, she’s all I need…,” he sang.

The real question is: when is that coming out on Spotify? 

Communication senior Alyssa Burton, a member of the A&O Productions speakers committee, said the show has been in the works since September.

“We did have Ziwe in mind for a while since we brought her for an online show during the pandemic,” Burton said. “We knew that she’s really grown in popularity since then, and a lot of people on campus are really interested in her.”

Weinberg freshman Zakyra Ashby said she loved seeing an NU alum do great things. It made her feel like she had a special connection to Ziwe during the show, she said. 

Ending the show on a satirical note, Ziwe brought in her audience to sing her hit song “Stop Being Poor.” She left her audience with a repetition of “stop being poor, stop being poor” stuck in their heads as motivational fuel for Winter Quarter. Ziwe knows us too well. 

Whatever your expectations were, Ziwe and Owens not only met but exceeded them all. After one hour of laughing harder than I have before, all I can say is that my Spotify wrapped next year will consist of two songs: “Stop Being Poor” and “Marjorie.” 

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the platform on which “Abbott Elementary” airs. The Daily regrets the error.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

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