SALEM — Adam Mamawala, a 25-year-old comedian from Hoboken, N.J., was named one of the 30 funniest comedians under 30 by Funny or Die, a popular comedy video website.
He describes himself as confident, which is evident from the fact that he joked his way to the top of the New Jersey Comedy Festival in 2007. Mamawala is booked solid on a college circuit that will include a stop at Salem State next Thursday, Jan. 24, at 8 p.m. in Veterans Hall at Ellison Campus Center. Mamawala recently spoke to The Salem News about his career.
How would you describe your material?
I characterize myself as a story-form comic, meaning a lot of the material I use is derived from experiences I’ve had in my life. There’s lot of observational humor, with a couple of impersonations mixed in, although I’m doing less of that.
Whom do you impersonate?
I’m probably best known for an impersonation of Barack Obama, although I try not to get political, because that can be polarizing.
How does it go?
He speaks very well, but he takes three times longer to say something than any other human being. I ask somebody to take out a cellphone or stopwatch, to see how long it would take me to say something speaking normally, then I say it at the rate he would say it. He can make anything he says, make anything sound cool or intelligent, just by having it come out of his mouth.
When did you start performing?
I’ve been performing for a little over seven years. I started as a freshman in college, in January of 2006, on a whim, more or less on a recommendation from a friend. Then, my junior year, I won a New Jersey-wide contest to find the funniest college comedian in New Jersey. I got through to the final round, it was me versus 30 people, and I wound up winning.