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Nickelodeon star Kenan Thompson performs for Welcome Week

BY LUCY TRANKINA | AUGUST 25, 2011 7:20 AM

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Mixed emotions accompany the first days of college. Freshmen are excited about the independence of living on their own, but they also experience anxiety about leaving behind the ones they love. The first week is spent finding classes, meeting new people, and exploring a new town.

After the initial pressure, the first weekend is a welcome respite, and this weekend, the University of Iowa will provide plenty of entertainment as part of Welcome Week. At 10 p.m. Friday, comedian Kenan Thompson will perform his standup routine in the IMU Main Ballroom. Admission is free.

Thompson’s comedy career began when he performed on the Nickelodeon show “All That.” His success on the program led to his own Nickelodeon show, “Kenan and Kel.” The funny guy also made his way to movies, including The Mighty Ducks and Fat Albert. That success led him to the top of the comedy totem pole — a current role on “Saturday Night Live.”

“Kenan represents our generation,” said Kyle Allen, the comedy director at the Campus Activities Board.

The comedian’s friendly personality makes him a household name, especially for kids of the ’90s.

Allen said he wants the event to be a bonding experience for new students. The comedy show also provides an option to the typical college-party scene.

Freshman Tyler Lemon recalls watching Thompson in the film Good Burger, and he said he thinks Thompson is a “really funny guy.”

“I think it would be fun to go see him,” Lemon said. “Also, it would be a good opportunity to meet new people.”

Sharing laughs during the show is something Allen said he thinks will help new students make friends.

The Campus Activities Board will continue to host events similar to the Welcome Week activities throughout the year. Upcoming shows include Heather McDonald in November and Dave Coulier in December.


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