Stand-up comedy has been sneaking its way into Eugene college culture for awhile now. This year alone, Kevin Hart, David Sedaris and Chris D’Elia have performed, the Buzz hosts a weekly Open Mic comedy night, and the University of Oregon Quackin’ Me Up Comedy Competition hosts its final round this week. This Saturday, comedian Carly Aquilino will join the ranks – lighting up Eugene with her fiery red hair and even more fiery jokes: “If you’re hosting a party don’t bring out anything vegan cause I will punch you in the vagina.” We feel you, girl.

25-year-old New York native Aquilino had always wanted to do stand-up, but worked nights as a hairdresser and was never able to. She then switched to a desk job and started doing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club. Less than a year later, she was cast in Girl Code, MTV’s unscripted sketch comedy show about being a woman. That was in 2013. Now, Aquilino’s Twitter feed (470,000 followers) is full of retweeted photos, each with a different stoked-out-of-their-mind fan.

When did stand-up comedians become as popular as teen pop stars (pre-every breakdown ever)? Who cares?

Anquilino is a role model because she’s not afraid to embrace herself. “We change our hair when something traumatic happens to us, and obviously I’ve been through a lot of shit,” and, “I think I’ve had a crush on any guy that’s never said anything nice to me,” she jokes on Girl Code. Anquilino shows that it’s okay to dye your hair red, have tattoos and struggle with going vegan. She’s unapologetically honest and herself—which is a lesson that stand-up comedy can teach everyone.

Carly Anquilino performs at the McDonald Theater on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m; $25-$50 (VIP meet and greet and premium seating).

Please consider donating to the Emerald. We are an independent non-profit dedicated to supporting and educating this generation's best journalists. Your donation helps pay equipment costs, travel, payroll, and more!