Adam Grabowski provides comic relief


Joshua Kornfeld, Staff Reporter

Laughter rang out through the SURC Ballroom as comedian Adam Grabowski performed live at CWU on Saturday, Jan. 29. According to Grabowski’s website, his work specializes in socially conscious comedy. Grabowski covered a wide range of topics from the COVID-19 pandemic, to vaccines, dating and social commentary.   

Grabowski started the show by asking if it was anybody in the audience’s first time attending a comedy show. He said that this wasn’t his first time, but there would be bad music playing just like most peoples’ first time hooking up.

Zach Hubbard, a senior majoring in chemistry, STEM and teaching, described Grabowski as a humble person, and someone you could have a genuine conversation with. 

“I could feel that he at one point was an educator, and exuded that in this comedy, as if he brought his training on stage,” Hubbard said. “He had a really good stage presence, much like a teacher.” 

Hubbard said he hadn’t heard of Adam Grabowski before the show. After a quick Google search, he said he found that Grabowski performed on America’s Got Talent and at many colleges around the U.S. Grabowski has been awarded College Comic of the Year four times, headlined in 49 states and performed for over 750 colleges, according to his website.

Anna Baldwin, a junior in English, said they came to the event after they saw a poster advertising the show and a friend invited them. 

“Finding out about America’s Got Talent behind-the-scenes, I would have never known those things,” Baldwin said. “I would have never believed it.” 

According to Grabowski, he had a tumultuous experience on the show. His present material focuses on human interactions and behavior. 

Grabowski said socially conscious comedy involves “believing in the stuff that you say” as long as it doesn’t “cross some of your own boundaries.”

According to Grabowski, he tries to do more good than harm whenever he speaks. Much of Grabowski’s emphasis is on the overall consciousness of others. 

“Don’t say things that are going to impact people negatively, or going to subjugate one group in a negative way,” Grabowski said. “I could joke about different people and behaviors, of course. If you’re aware and empathetic, you can know what is or isn’t. But it also comes from having to be somebody that does that.”

Josh Bacdad, an undeclared student visiting CWU, described Grabowski’s show as new and refreshing.

“I’ve never seen a comedian like that. He was very socially aware,” Bacdad said. 

Bacdad said he felt that Grabowski changed his perspective around the concept of capitalism and the dream of one day being rich. 

Grabowski shared individual experiences through audience participation. Throughout the show, he took questions from the audience. One notable question was: “Why can’t guys understand girls?” This rapid fire of questioning required him to remain up-to-date with pop culture and come up with improvised material every single time. 

“Crowd interaction was the best part,” Baldwin said. “Most of the show was just us getting to interact, and that was really fun … instead of just having to sit and watch something for a long time.”

In his material, he discussed overall dating patterns and how people relate to one another. 

“I’ve noticed when you talk to your friend, you want to say relatable stuff and tell interesting stories,” Grabowski said.

Before going on stage, Grabowski reported that he spends a great deal of time thinking about the audience. 

“Did I just get water on my shirt?” Grabowski said, referring to his last trip to CWU before the pandemic. “Right there. That totally looks like I peed. What song should I put on next? Why is nobody in the front row? A lot of the time I’m more worried about if people are going to show up. This one I felt comfortable because I’ve been over here before.” 

Grabowski said the environment plays a big factor in his overall comfort level, such as a ballroom or a theater. If he plays in a ballroom and the event is sparsely attended, the overall environment is going to have a different feel than a comedy club packed with 200 people. Grabowski said he can pick up on the mood of the crowd, and the culmination of these factors can make or break a show. 

Grabowski shared a unique perspective and made a connection with the audience during his time at CWU, and left students with a lot to think about.