Rowan student in it especially for the laughs

Rowan student in it especially for the laughs

By Jessica Beym

Literature isn\'t usually a funny topic, but in high school it was for Charles Kloski.

Kloski, an 18-year-old freshman at Rowan University, and the first-place winner of Tuesday night\'s stand-up comedy contest at the college, said it was in his ninth-grade English class that he first became interested in being a comedian.

His teacher at Seneca High School in Tabernacle was comedian Jay Black, who has since left the teaching world to do stand-up and has performed at Rowan University and dozens of other venues in New York and New Jersey.

In class, Black practiced some of his comedy, and even honed his talent after hours when he started a comedy club for the students.

Kloski said he was one of the first to sign up.

Not only did they improve on their public speaking skills during the club, the students also developed material that Kloski said he used in his routine Tuesday night.

"I think everyone sort of gets their material from where they are in life," Kloski said. "I was just in high school, so most of my material comes from high school, or from my parents\' house in Wildwood. Now that I\'m in college, I\'m probably going to see my material shift."

Fifteen Rowan students signed up for the competition, which was held in the student center. The contest was the first of many that will be held as part of the New Jersey King of Campus Comedy contest.

In the coming months the competition will travel to other New Jersey universities, ending at Monmouth University on Dec. 8. The top three students at each school will compete for the title of "King of Campus Comedy." The first-place prize is $1,000 cash, a scholarship to the American Comedy Institute, and an opportunity to perform an opening act at one of New York\'s leading comedy clubs.

A panel of expert judges chose Kloski on Tuesday, based on his originality, crowd reaction and stage presence. His reward -- he gets to be the opening act on Thursday night for comedian/actor Nick Swardson. Swardson has appeared in "Reno 911," and Adam Sandler productions such as "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "Click," and "Grandma\'s Boy."

"I\'m pumped," Kloski said.

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Date Published: Thursday, September 27, 2007 - 06:00