SIU student opening for comedian Jeff Dye


For some comedians, opening up for a well-known performer can be nerve-racking. But for SIU student Jeremy Brown, it feels like another day at the office.

Brown will open this week for touring comedian Jeff Dye, who has appeared on “Last Comic Standing,” “Girl Code” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” 

Dye, who categorizes himself as a comedian, actor, host and prankster, will headline the SIU Student Programming Council’s “Laugh till you Dye” event at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Center Ballroom.


Brown, a freshman from Champaign studying journalism, serves as the comedy director for SPC. On his application for the position, which was vacant during fall 2015, he listed his stand-up comedy experience as a skill.

Not only is a skill, it’s Brown’s dream.

“Anytime I’m not doing class or video games, I’m writing comedy,” he said.

Brown will start the show with a five- to seven-minute routine. His job is to warm up the audience and get them ready for the headlining comedian, he said.

His comedy career started when he was 16 years old in a local church. From there, he performed at any open mic he could, taking all opportunities to hone his craft.

Brown describes his comedy as clean and devoid of shock humor or constant curse words. He takes this style from his idols such as Brian Regan and Jerry Seinfeld, he said. Brown knew he wanted to be a comedian after watching a Jim Gaffigan special.

Before that, he did not realize stand-up comedian was a career option. 


“This guy just has to stand here on stage, talk at people, who are not allowed to respond, they all love him and he gets paid and goes home,” Brown said. “That sounds like the best job.”

Kaila Messerli, graduate advisor to the SPC, said the performance is a chance for Brown to introduce his set to other students. 

Messerli said she relates with the style of comedy Dye uses. He talks and tells stories in an awkward manner, much like John Mulaney.

While she admits to never seeing Brown’s comedy, the two have had a lot of interaction working with SPC. She said she thinks he has a good sense of humor and both talents should connect with the student audience, Messerli said.

Carly James, assistant director of Student Center programs, said the SPC is made up of 11 directors for various topics, all of whom plan events for comedians, lecturers and other talent.

Because there was no comedy director for half of last semester, this show was put on by staff members and students, James said. When they were looking for someone for this event, the group was searching for anyone funny they could afford.

And once they got Dye and asked Brown to participate, the group gave a young comedian a chance to hit the stage in front of a new audience.

“It’s a way for us to open more doors for our students,” Messerli said.

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.