Mass Comm Alum Makes Funny Comeback


Jason Hauze, Reporter

Connor Swagler, an alumni of the Misericordia University Mass Communications and Design Department, returned to campus Nov. 22 to host a comedy night.

He and two other comedians, Jane Ives and Luc Thiers, traveled from Rochester, New York to perform in the Cougars Den in the Henry Banks Student Life Center. All three had a chance to be on stage and show off their comedic talents.

Thiers, who won best up-and-coming comedian in Rochester, started the show and then Ives, a regular at open mic nights around Rochester, went on before the night ended with Swagler.

Swagler is originally from Nichols, New York and started at Misericordia in the fall of 2014. He graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in videography and broadcast journalism with the help of Dan Kimbrough, who taught video when Swagler was a student.

Swagler spent his extracurricular time on campus with the TV studio, MCN-87, The Highlander and the MU Players. He is thankful for the time he spent with the MU Players because it helped him be confident and hone his say about anything on stage.

“I found Dan Kimbrough, who was the video side of the communications department at the time,” Swagler said. “He taught me so much about everything as far as production is concerned and how to write up a contract.”

He also credited Dr. Melissa Sgroi, current department chair, for being a huge help in his writing for his stand-up routine. He especially credits the magazine writing class he took because it was a different style of writing and taught him a certain “ebb and flow with creativity.”

“I also learned a lot from Dr. Sgroi as far as writing, which has definitely helped me with my stand-up because, if you can look at things from a journalist’s perspective, you see where things don’t match up, and that helps me with my comedy,” he added

Swagler offered a small example of his jokes, which he used in his stand-up, saying, “For instance, sometimes people will see a sign that says hiring all positions. Some say, ‘I can’t wait to apply as a dishwasher,’ but I look at that and say, ‘I’ll take owner.’”

He also gives thanks to Rachel Urbanowicz, assistant professor of communications, for her lessons in graphic design because it helps him do promotional art for his shows.

Swagler said that, while he did not want to take those classes at the time, they have proven to be more helpful than he expected.

Aside from traveling and doing stand-up, Swagler also works at a distillery in bottling production. He hopes that, when the company gets bigger, he can use his skills in marketing and promotion. The pay increase would also go to his stand-up career, allowing him to do more shows.

“In the end, it’s a hard pill to swallow to have to say thank you for something you did not want to have to take because you didn’t think you would need it,” he said. “But, it turns out, I definitely would have needed it.”