Musical comedian brings smiles to UCA

Morgan Jay performs March 11 during a comedy night. Morgan Jay is a comedian who has been featured on NBC’s “Bring the Funny” and is currently on tour.

Comedian Morgan Jay uses comedic timing and songs about relationships to bring everyone together at his shows, just like he did Wednesday, March 11, in the Student Center Ballroom.

Some of Jay’s infamous, relationship-themed parodies include “She’s Got a New Boyfriend,” “Dot Dot Dot,” “Split the Check,” “Flaky Friends” and “Single Now," among others. He uses music to tie in relatable messages between friends and significant others that people in the real world might go through daily. 

Audience interaction is one of the techniques that make Jay’s performances so unique. While he strums his guitar, he likes to talk to the audience and involve them in the show. The audience at UCA was welcoming to Jay and he called them a “wild crowd.”

At one point during the set, Jay was riffing in a high-tone to mimic a girl arguing with her significant other, at which point he asked the audience to all get their phones out and record his actions. He then had everyone play them back at one time, and infectious laughs spread in the ballroom.

Two of the more frequent participants from the audience were UCA senior Breck Brammer and her boyfriend Basti Jansen. The couple have been dating for a while and decided to come out to the show at the last minute to enjoy Jay’s positivity and humor. 

“I do like that he was interactive with the crowd, because that means he wanted us to connect with him, other than just sitting in the crowd,” Brammer said.

Jay is a first-generation American performer based out of Los Angeles, California. His father, who died when he was six years old, was an Argentinian pop star named Ricardo Roda. 

“So [performing] is kind of full-circle. Maybe it is just in my pedigree,” Jay said. Real-life events around Jay inspire his work, including things said around him by friends.

“Just observing how the world’s changing,” Jay said. “I’m on TikTok, and my girlfriend showed me a [TikTok] of one of her friends and she was like ‘If you’re one of those girls who are ding, ding, ding,’ and one of them was if you’re into girls with tiny bones.”

Jay said he had never thought of this before, and that it reminded him of some kind of bird, which he would not be attracted to.

He draws a lot of his inspiration from comedy shows on Comedy Central. Jay was even a semi-finalist on NBC’s Bring the Funny, where he was able to meet Chrissy Teigen. 

During the show, Jay strummed a tour guitar, a smaller version of a regular guitar, which had a small red heart on the base of it. 

“If you see me perform, my guitar has a little red heart on it because the first guitar I used was [my dad’s], and it had a little red heart on it,” Jay said. “So all the guitars I use have a little red heart.”

Jay was brought to campus by the UCA Student Activities Board. SAB Comedy Chair junior Melissa Duong said she had witnessed his comedic effect at an earlier screening conference and it intrigued her.

“A lot of his sound effects, and his facial expressions were really funny,” Duong said. “Everyone else did stand up comedy, and he incorporates music so he was different.”

Jay has been featured at many comedy fests, and has won first prize for best comedy/novelty song in the International Songwriting Competition. He is currently on an extensive tour showcasing his comedy.

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