Arts and Culture

Comedian Ben Kronberg: Hilarious or inappropriate?

Comedian Ben Kronberg’s performance in the Atrium of Balfour Hood for the Big Event on February 3rd was an interesting display to say the least.

Kronberg ”wears glasses and tells jokes,” according to his website,

Wheaton’s own Dimple Divers opened the show with skits featuring necrophilia, raptors, and awkward party guests. Behind the masses of people, Kronberg smirked at his fellow comedians, but also prepped for his performance mentally.

Kronberg set the tone of his performance by opening with a solid joke about his bathroom habits, giving the audience a taste for his humor before diving into a stream of filthy one-liners and humorous songs. His long pauses between jokes and nervous repetition of phrases were supposed to make his delivery awkwardly funny.

However, a portion of the audience was not laughing. His one-liners and often line-pushing interactions with the crowd kept viewers on edge. Often, a section of the crowd was silent while the other exploded in uproarious laughter.

“He really tried, but wasn’t funny in my opinion” said Zachary Agush ’12.

Kronberg took advantage of the relaxed setting of plush couches and armchairs and chose to interact with the audience, devoting a portion of his routine to a Q&A session in which he asked the questions.

Zack D’Orsi ’14 was one of the people that Kronberg targeted. “It was very intimidating. I knew it was coming because he stood in front of me for a solid 2 minutes before asking me anything”. However, D’Orsi still enjoyed the performance. “It was awesome,” he said.

Later in the performance, two audience members asked Kronberg if they could perform their own comedic routine. One student had the gall to do so, climbing on stage and telling her own joke.

Other interactions, however, did not go as well. His references to two black women in the audience came off as racist and misogynistic. “Are you guys sisters?” he asked them. He later attempted to recover with, “It’s because they are wearing blue”. Kronberg attempted to talk to another woman sitting down on the floor, but was met with a cold reception when she refused to give him her name or even speak.

Amid the awkward silences that should have been filled with laughter, there were still some memorable moments.

“His style blended a lot of techniques that I enjoy about other stand-up comedians: he was awkward, musical and constantly made me question his sobriety, which together almost always worked for me,” Meagan Gagnon ’14 said, summing up his performance eloquently.

In short, Ben Kronberg’s performance was a polarizing experience; those who disliked it, abhorred it, and those who liked it, loved it.