Bernie McGrenahan uses humor to educate

By Charles Bush
November 13, 2008

Jay Leno, Matchbox 20 and Tony Danza are just a few people whom comedian Bernie McGrenaha performs with on a nightly bases.

McGrenahan brought his comedy tour to Cabrini on Monday, Nov. 3. Talking about Paris Hilton, Facebook, R Kelly, Lindsay Lohan, roommate conflicts and dorm rooms were a few topics of his performance.

“I’m sweating like Paris Hilton doing a crossword puzzle!” McGrenahan said, “College women are so neat they always do laundry separating the colors, while men don’t do laundry until it’s absolutely necessary and we separate our cloths into two piles: dirty and dirty but still wearable,” McGrenahan said.

However, McGrenahan didn’t just poke fun at celebrities and college life all night.

McGrenahan spoke of how he was a straight A student all his life leading up to high school, when he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. He then got into drinking and drugs.

As his high school career went on, his grades began to decline each year causing him to finish high school with a D average. He said he was too hung over to focus in school and even sometimes his hang over would prevent him from attending classes that day at all.

McGrenahan then went on to talk about how he got a scholarship to a small college for baseball.

But his drinking problem continued and he got three consecutive DUIs’ during his first three years of college, leading him to drop out and move back in with his family.

However, McGrenahan didn’t stop his drinking problem, but continued to bring his younger high school brother into his alcoholic world. His brother was the star of the high school basketball team and a good student.

But when McGrenahan saw his brother beginning to miss class, not perform on the court and get poor grades due to alcohol and drugs, McGrenahan then decided to be a good older brother and talk to him.

“You need to stop all this. It isn’t good for you. You have a problem,” McGrenahan said. He said his brother then replied, “I’m not the one with the problem you have the problem.” These were the last words McGrenahan would ever hear from his brother.

McGrenahan got bad news later that night when he came home from a bar after trying to drink off the argument he and his brother had earlier.

“There were cop cars and ambulances outside my house when my little sister ran out and hugged me in tears to tell me that my brother shot himself, taking his own life,” McGrenahan said.

McGrenahan then made a vow to change his life and decided to go turn himself in to the police for a court date that he missed months earlier and served his six month sentence in prison.

All that McGrenahan talked about was a serious matter letting the students and faculty in the crowd know that, “I’m not saying don’t drink. I’m saying do it safely and know when you have a problem to get help,” McGrenahan said.

But McGrenahan kept the jokes coming all night, even during the serious times of his performance. Making sure all the students and faculty in attendance understood his message of, “I didn’t want to stand up here and lecture you guys on why not to drink or pull up a power point and bore you to death on how drinking will kill you like some old guy, unless you want him because he’s in the parking lot. I just wanted you guys to have a good time, share some laughs and know drinking is OK for some people if they can control it and do it responsibly, but for the ones that can’t make sure you seek help before it’s too late,” McGrenahan said.

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Charles Bush

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