Boris Tsang / Sun Staff Photographer

Ron Funches, who who has performed on 'Conan' and starred in the NBC series 'Undateable,' gives a stand-up performance to students Sunday night.

November 19, 2017

Stand-Up Comedian, Star of NBC Series Ron Funches Performs at Cornell

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Stand-up comedian Ron Funches, who has performed on Conan and starred in the NBC series Undateable, entertained his Cornell audience on Sunday with anecdotes from throughout his life, animating serious topics and some of his personal challenges with humor.

Funches was not shy in dishing about his well-known significant weight loss to the audience. He said losing 130 pounds has brought him much confidence and has stopped him from being “afraid of the seatbelts on regional flights.”

Funches said he has decided to live a real healthy life — not the American definition of healthiness — and shared obstacles he has had to overcome along the way, such as resisting the temptation of ordering pizza at midnight or having to “chew gummy bears in the mouth and then spit them into a trash can.”

Funches began his performance with a story about a fight he got into in Vancouver with a man at a pot shop. The other customer, after the clerk refused to sell him weed because of the lack of an ID, began making racist comments to the clerk, who was Asian.

Funches argued with him, and the conversation ended in a fight. “He punched me in the mouth over and over again … and I just kept saying ‘do it again,’” Funches laughed. “[I’m] like a psychopath.”

“But if I see anyone being racist to anyone, even if [the victim] is not of my own race,” He paused a second and smirked. “I’m willing to let him punch in my face again.”

Another such challenging moment came when Funches was trying to buy his first house. He said it was not until then that he realized just how much his credit history has affected his life.

“Just because I needed Guitar Hero when I was 22, my son can’t go to college?” Funches said, admitting to not have been able to pay the bill a few times in the past.

He announced happily though that he has already bought a house, which he will be moving into with his son shortly.

As a comedian without a fixed contract, he said he is also looking forward to “living next door to somebody who actually works.”

Guitar Hero was also not the only video game on the notable player’s list. He judged American games for being “too mundane,” and prefers the Japanese games with mystery and surprising plots such as Persona 5.

“In American games … you’re just shooting zombies,” Funches said. “But in Persona 5 … you get to be a Japanese high-schooler who fights demons.”

On the note of judging American popular culture against other countries, Funches also said The Great British Bake Off is among his top three favorite reality shows, along with Naked and Afraid and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“The best thing about The Great British Bake Off is that when a competitor has finished his task, he goes to help others,” Funches said. “That’s how you know it’s British — we don’t do this in America.”

The comedian was unabashed in his admiration for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, actor and professional wrestler, multiple times during his show. “The Rock can do no wrong,” Funches said. “[He] could murder my family and I would just assume they did something to deserve it.”