UAO hopes Rickey Smiley creates smiles at this year’s Homecoming

Julie Restivo and Julie Restivo

The University Activities Organ-ization has been providing great entertainment since 1968. This homecoming is no exception, even though the annual concert has been replaced with a stand-up comedian.

Last year, the UAO collected over 1,000 student surveys on their musical preferences for this year’s show.

The results showed that most students wanted a rock concert instead of a hip-hop concert, which has been the event the past two years,.

UAO attempted to book artists such as 311, Hoobastank and Ashlee Simpson. Unfortunately, these artists were either unavailable or beyond budget.

The search continued until the UAO opted to hire a comedian.

Jenna Gable, vice president of UAO said that hiring a comedian saved them around $50,000, and the extra money will be spent on a big concert for the spring.

Replacing a band with a comedian was risky but once the UAO booked Rickey Smiley, they knew they had made a good decision.

Smiley is best known for his character impersonations including the character “Bernice” and her ‘church announcements’ to “Coach McClainy.”

Smiley is also a veteran of Def Comedy Jam, performed during the 2001 NAACP Image Awards, as well as comedy clubs across the country.

“Rickey Smiley cracks me up. I would much rather laugh my head off then go to an Ashlee Simpson concert,” said Sara Leary, a senior at BGSU.

Smiley’s comedy is appropriate for all ages. His southern humor amuses children, adults and even senior citizens.

“My roommates and I are huge Smiley fans,” said Leary, “But I also know plenty of adults who like his jokes.”

The UAO hopes that Smiley will attract a broad audience.

“Comedy is something that everyone can enjoy,” said Gable, who has been with the UAO for two years and knows how hard it is to pick a band to satisfy all students.

Gable doesn’t know what Smiley has in store for homecoming, but knows that his impersonations will amuse the audience.

“It’s going to be a big surprise,” said Gable.

Tickets for the event will go on sale starting Monday, October 4th from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in the union lobby.

Tickets will also be available on Tuesday, October 5th, Wednesday, October 6th and Thursday, October 7th in the union from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The cost per ticket is $8 with a limit of four per person.

The UAO understands that some students would be dissapointed without a concert this fall. Because of this Ben Folds, perviously of Ben Folds Five, will be performing November 6th as part of the Family Weekend Festivities.