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Misher Festival of Fine Arts and Humanities2019 Misher Festival of Fine Arts and Humanities

Festival of Comedy

This year’s Misher Festival of Fine Arts and Humanities celebrates the curious, delightful elements of comedy. If laughter is the best medicine, we’re due for a healthy dose of it—and February is perfect time to break through the winter doldrums!

Come fill your Rx at one of our events (all free of charge).

For over 30 years, Misher College of Arts and Sciences has provided students at USciences with the foundation of their education. The Misher Festival of Fine Arts & Humanities celebrates former University President Allen Misher’s vision of an undergraduate education that embraces history, philosophy, literature and cultural studies alongside biology, chemistry, and more.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Comedy Sportz @ The Adrienne

2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
7:30 pm

Two improv teams compete for laughs while a referee governs the action. In this interactive show appropriate for every age, the audience gets to call the shots, awarding points and shouting out suggestions. Come see why ComedySportz has been the most popular improvisational comedy show in Philadelphia for over 20 years. Contact to reserve your ticket (a limited number of student tickets available).

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Neuroscience of Humor with Dr. Reginald Adams

Reginald Adams

IPEX 139
12 noon

Dr. Reg Adams, PhD is a professor of psychology and the Director of the Social Perception and Emotion Lab (SPEL) at Penn State University. Among his research interests? Social humor. “We watch comedy to have fun,” Dr. Adams says, “to escape our unwanted thoughts and emotions. Afterwards, we may find that a good mood lingers and our worries are held at bay. When this happens we have experienced what is commonly referred to as ‘comic relief…’ Humor and its concomitant behaviors, laughter and smiling, buffer us to and help us regulate negative emotional states. What is particularly surprising about humor, but far less studied, are the actual topics comedians target in an effort to produce this effect.” Dr. Adams’ work now targets humor’s regulatory function in everyday social cognition. “I am particularly interested in addressing why humor tends to target our unwanted thoughts.”

Bring your lunch (and unwanted thoughts for laughter); we’ll provide the coffee.

What’s So Funny About the Civil War? with Dr. Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

2:00 pm
IPEX 139

How did Americans deal with the enormous turmoil, physical and emotional suffering of our great national conflict? In the 1860s, as the death toll mounted, humor provided relief in the form of political cartoons and jokes that suggested a kind of control over events too momentous and often horrible to grasp. Dr. Kevin Murphy is a Professor of History and the Chair of the Medical Humanities department at USciences. His research interests include American history, as well as the intersection of Japanese and US culture. His third book, Inside the Bataan Death March: Defeat, Travail and Memory was published in 2014.

Tuesday, February 26

Mary Radzinski: Stand Up Comedy 101

Mary Radzinski

11:00 am
Whitecar 207

Comedian Mary Radzinski talks through the basics of stand-up comedy, shares her personal experience coming up in the Philadelphia comedy scene, and fields any potential questions pertaining to the craft. The class will participate in a writing exercise utilizing one of the “rules” of comedy and deliver their work to the class. Mary Radzinski ( is a regular at Helium, Goodnights, Cap City, and Punch Line comedy clubs. She opened for Jim Norton's “Contextually Inadequate” comedy special, as well as Rosie O’Donnell’s most recent HBO comedy special at Levity Live.

Wednesday, February 27

The Anatomy of Comedy: A Workshop with Darryl Charles

Darryl Charles

12:00 noon
IPEX 139

Comedian and electrical engineer (!) Darryl Charles ( has been seen on The Travel Channel’s Mysteries At The Museum and the Comedy Central web series Delco Proper. He does stand-up, performs improv comedy, and has been a member of Philadelphia’s ComedySportz since 2011. Charles’ sketch comedy performances with The Layoff Kids was featured on Funny or Die; and he’s currently the co-host of DTF: The Darryl and Timaree Funhour.

Bring your lunch; we’ll provide the coffee.


Thursday, February 28

Write Your Own Top Ten List with Aali Javid

11:00 am
Whitecar 207

Fans of the Late Show with David Letterman will remember the nightly “Top Ten” list. Today’s comedy workshop takes us on a tour of his Top Ten and has us create our own. Alumnus Aali Javid (PharmD 2011) graduated from USciences, worked as an intern on the Dr. Oz show, and began studying sketch and stand-up comedy. He’ll chat about his evolution (pharmacist to comic sketch writer). Comedy writer, Letterman alum, and Misher Visiting Professor of Humanities Steve Young will join our audience and share an informal lunch with our students.

2019 Misher Visiting Professor of Humanities Lecture—The Science of Funny: An Hour of Your Life You’ll Never Get Back

Steve Young, 2019 Misher Visiting Professor of Humanities

1:00–2:00 pm, Reception to follow
STC 145

For 25 years (and 19 Emmy nominations), Harvard-educated Steve Young was a writer for David Letterman’s late night shows. Now, Young is the main character in a new comedy music documentary, Bathtubs Over Broadway, a film that premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was one of the top Tribeca picks of Robert DeNiroThe New York TimesVariety, and Rolling Stone. Bathtubs Over Broadway tells the story of Young’s evolution from a comedy writer to a curious researcher who unearthed vintage record albums that would change his life forever. While tracking down rare albums, unseen footage, composers and performers, Steve forms unlikely friendships and discovers a discarded musical genre starring tractors and bathtubs. Steve Young is now the world’s authority on industrial musicals, the Broadway-style shows that corporations staged at sales meetings and conventions. With Sport Murphy, Young is he is the author of Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals.

Thursday, April 25

The Elixir's Spring Publication Party

1:00 pm
Parenti Plaza

USciences has published an extraordinary literary journal for over 55 years! Creative writers and artists gather to celebrate the best writing from our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Stop by our outdoor publication picnic party, where we’ll share our 2019 issue of The Elixir and announce the winners of the 2019 Friends of USciences Awards in Writing.


Christine Flanagan 


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