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Behind the Scenes of the Messiah College Tonight Show

Maddie Conley
Online Editor

When it’s a Coffeehouse night and the Messiah College Tonight Show is in the lineup, forget Netflix and homework. Rich Speeney has captured attention with comedy catered to students, alumni, and administration alike.

Since his first show in Hitchcock Arena during Coffeehouse, Rich has done two more shows. His jokes pick fun at Messiah traditions and leave everyone laughing and nodding in agreement. Despite all of the light-hearted “roasting,” feedback has been very positive.

“Staff and faculty have repeatedly expressed to me their appreciation for the show and the student engagement it has received,” said Speeney.

With the often predictable nature of day-to-day life consisting of homework, tests, and papers, the Messiah College Tonight Show is a breath of fresh air.

“The jokes and content of our acts resonate with students. Watching the show is an opportunity for students to let their guards down and laugh with one another,” said Speeney.

The Tonight Show was born out of a desire to impact the student body. Last year Speeney was the Senior Resident Assistant of Naugle Hall and the Junior Class President. Without those positions, he decided to come up with a new project.

“Without those responsibilities this year, I was looking for less formal opportunities to continue making an impact on our campus,” said Speeney.

Speeney explained that comedy is about surprising the audience in order to keep them entertained. He plans to keep creating content that people will not expect and to keep switching things up.

“I think everyone will enjoy some of the bits we’re planning for the Spring semester,” said Speeney.

Speeney appreciates the relationships built through this process. “I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of new people, whether it’s someone that stopped me on campus to talk about the show or messaged me on Facebook, it’s been awesome to make those connections,” said Speeney.

A video posted on Speeney’s Facebook page reached over 11,000 views. With Messiah having only around 3,000 students, the video has reached far past the student body. Many professors expressed their entertainment to Speeney. “I’m glad people liked the video enough to share it with their friends,” said Speeney.

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