Shining the Spotlight on Comedy

As part of his independent theatre studies course, senior Henry Payne ’23 was met with laughter during his performance on stage. However, as a stand-up comedian who has previously performed at various venues on O‘ahu, this was exactly the reaction he had hoped for. 

With the support of Punahou Theatre Director Melinda Moore, Payne organized a stand-up comedy night in Luke Auditorium this winter, accompanied by Grace Fitzgerald ’23, Reed Lerch ’24 and Charlie Ho ’25. 

Payne’s theatrical comedic routine incorporates sound cues and multiple characters, almost like a one-man show. While he usually performs in night club-type venues, Payne thought an on-campus performance would be more accessible for his peers interested in comedy. 

The performance was recorded and will be edited into a Netflix-style special, which would otherwise not have been possible in another venue. “It will be wonderful to send the special to promoters and club owners once I graduate and enter a new scene,” said Payne. “There aren’t many venue owners willing to take a chance on a teenage comedian.” 

Based on the reaction from his peers, he’s inspired a new generation of comedians. “The level of enthusiasm from my classmates has been impressive.”

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