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The students who braved the rain last night to fill Houston Hall Auditorium beyond its capacity were treated to a professional comedian, Patrick McGreal, and a dozen aspiring student comedians. The show, sponsored by the Social Planning and Events Committee, featured an array of ethnic jokes, with several comedians dwelling on traumatic childhood experiences, including the perils of eating too much roughage before art class. A full Houston Hall Auditorium was treated to free Certs, given by the show's co-sponsor. "It was such a pleasure to have an alternative to Calculus 141 on Wednesday nights," said Wharton freshman Moris Finvarb. The competition was held as part of a national tournament involving 70 colleges across the U.S.. One winner from each college is entered into the national semifinals. A videotape of the University's winner, Hood Qa'im-Maqami, will be sent to the competition's judge, comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld will choose three finalists who will be flown to Florida for the Certs Comedy showdown. Qa'im-Maqami said he was shock when he learned he had won the competition. "I was very apprehensive about going up against such impressive competition," he said. Qa'im-Maqami's routine was a combination of stand-up comedy, "Iranian ventriloquism," and a variety of impersonations which he warned would neither look nor sound like the people he was impersonating. Thoroughly attentive throughout Qa'im-Maqami's act, the audience greeted him with resounding applause when he topped the judges' voting. SPEC President Lisa Nass, a College sophomore, said she was extremely pleased with the "amazing turnout." Nass explained that SPEC hopes to schedule many similar events in the future on a more regular basis, featuring more student comedians. "There has never been anything like this on campus," said SPEC member and College freshman Jennie Rosenbaum. Harlan Freilicher, a College junior and SPEC member, said that many in attendance "showed up for the free Certs presented at the door."

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