Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What was Villanova thinking?

Villanova officials are defending their hiring of comedian Steve Trevino to entertain incoming freshmen, after Trevino's act offended students:

"At some point, it was just too offensive. I didn't like what he was saying at all, especially the racial jokes," said Jessona McDonald.

McDonald is one of many students who walked out during the barrage of bad language, including the n-word and racist and sexist humor.
The university says the comic promised a clean show:
"We have a contract and we say we are a Catholic university. We have standards that we want met. Even when he was here that day, we talked about having a PG-13 show. So, we really did the things that we normally do. It was very upsetting. He was very offensive," said Kathy Byrnes, and assistant vice president of student life.
Kudos to the university for at least having the judgment to Trevino offstage 15 minutes into his 90-minute show. But their claim that they were promised a clean show seems facile; why even hire a comedian known for foul-mouthed, racially charged, "misogynistic" humor? Looking at Trevino's Web site — which features a T-shirt depicting men waving money at a pole dancer (caption: "I SUPPORT SINGLE MOTHERS") — one has to wonder, what were they thinking?

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P.S. When I entered New York University, the freshman-orientation comic was a pre-fame Mario Cantone. Definitely not appropriate for a Catholic university. Even so, his one-man version of "West Side Story" remains one of the funniest things I have ever seen. He pointed out the incongruity of the Jets' being so tough and yet breaking into pirouettes.