Dozens of bicycles are parked under the Willemsbrug bridge. Chatting in small groups, students stand in line for Comedy Club Haug. It’s not just the low-lying sun turning the red bridge even redder and making the Meuse shimmer that makes this night so magical.

The first time

A comedy show at Club Haug is part of Eurekaweek’s alternative programme. The brand-new students also had the opportunity to go to a big party at Maassilo, but they chose a more quiet and cultural spin on things for their first night. Kritagya: “My whole Eurekaweek group is going to the Maassilo, but I personally don’t really like crowds. Besides, I’ve always wanted to experience live comedy.”

For Kritagya, who is starting his master’s in Strategic Management, it is a night of firsts: “It’s my first time in Europe and my first time in a comedy club. And I’m trying beer. I don’t drink in India for religious reasons. If my mother reads this, she will ban me from my family.” He is looking forward to tonight. “But if the show is disappointing, I can always go to the party.”

For Kritagya, it is an evening of several firsts. Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

Club Haug versus Maassilo

Thijs and Kevin are going to study Business Administration and will stay living at home for the time being. Why are they here tonight and not at Maassilo? Kevin: “Because I can’t get home otherwise. I’d miss the train. It’s another hour and a half to Ede.

“I’m not really into going out that much”, Thijs adds, “and it’s cool to try something new like this.” They met today and are pleasantly surprised that the day does not have such a tight schedule. “Our group was just going to go and get hammered this afternoon, which we didn’t feel like doing, so we went into town.”

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Tikkie, cheap wine and bicycles

Four international comedians perform, joking mainly about cultural differences and what it is like to live in the Netherlands. The packed audience laughs and claps loudly at topics such as sending ‘tikkies’, bragging about how cheap the wine is, putting everything in their calendars, and cycling. Comedian Sjoerd Scott: “I was crying on a bike after my first breakup, no one talks about how ridiculous this shit looks! In my 6 years of living in the Netherlands I have never cycled a bike… Me crying was on her backseat on the way to the station.” But there are also jokes about dating, music and, in a light-hearted way, deeper issues such as inequality and discrimination.

The students are on the edge of their seats as there is a lot of interaction with the audience. The comedians enjoy challenging the students and making fun of them. Se-Won is asked what he is going to study: “A double major in Economics and Law.” To which the host replies that he is only doing that to show off.

Comedian Sjoerd Scott jokes about cycling and his break-up. Image credit: Aysha Gasanova


During the break, Se-Won explains that he is not bothered by feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out). “I’ll probably find it easier to meet people here at the comedy show than at the Maassilo. Comedy is a passion of mine, so I think it’s cool to meet like-minded people here.”

Back in the theatre, everyone is seated around small and cosy candle-lit tables, ready for the second half of the show.

Se-Won does not suffer from FOMO.

Coming full circle

Weina Ma is the third comedian to perform. She is a little nervous she says from the booth. “I recently started doing this at night on top of my 9-to-5 job in Credit Risk and Programming. I’ve got a PhD in Econometrics from the Erasmus School of Economics.” She has prepared some jokes about student life especially for tonight, she adds: “When I was a student, I was completely unaware of the existence of Eureka Week.”

At 10 o’clock the final applause sounds. Outside, people chat and laugh some more. Some students head into town, others cycle home or catch the train. Kritagya is quick to say afterwards: “It was great!” Presumably this will not be the first and last time for him.

Weina Ma has recently taken to the stage as a comedian in addition to her 9-to-5 job. Image credit: Aysha Gasanova
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