Oberlin Animal Rights Group Hosts Jamie Kilstein Show

Jake Frankenfield

Tonight at 7:30, Oberlin Animal Rights will host political comedian Jamie Kilstein, who will be performing his latest act “Jamie Kilstein Hates Stand Up” at the Cat in the Cream. The progressive stand-up artist is best known for his role as co-host of the podcast Citizen Radio and co-author of Newsfail: Climate Change, Feminism, Gun Control, and Other Fun Stuff We Talk About Because Nobody Else Will. Kilstein’s political take seems to mesh well with Oberlin’s activist climate. “The event came together after we realized as a group that we wanted to bring a speaker who would touch on issues including animal rights but would also appeal to a larger audience interested in progressive political and social issues,” said Evan Cameron, co-chair of OAR.


Though he’s not a mainstream media icon, Kilstein has been an influential voice in progressive politics since the founding of Citizen Radio. “Considering how famous and well-regarded he is, we are so fortunate that Oberlin students will be able to come and see him for free,” said Ben Hanna, OAR’s other co-chair. “Jamie is so great at informing people about really important and overlooked issues but at the same time presenting them in a way that makes people feel passionate about change instead of despair about current conditions.”


He said that hosting an esteemed guest has a positive impact on OAR’s members. “The way he incorporates comedy into his informative presentation style really makes me feel empowered about my own activism and the activism that is required to make this world a better place,” he said. The group hopes the show will appeal to anyone who is interested in political satire and its ability to shift a collective conversation. According to Cameron, the show will likely include discussion of issues such as climate change, animal rights, gun ownership and abortion rights, among other things.

Kilstein’s position on animal rights influenced OAR’s choice to bring him to campus, but that wasn’t the only factor they considered when deciding on an entertainer. Cameron said that the criteria for their choice was based on “the current state of politics, the news and the social state of this country and the world at large that will resonate with many people on campus.” And according to Hanna, Oberlin students aren’t the only people who they expect to attend. “[Kilstein] has a massive fanbase in the area, and now people from all over the Northeast Ohio region will be able to come and see him perform for free.” The show has seen a wide reach, too, as some have committed to coming from as far as Cincinnati.


His fanbase can be attributed to Citizen Radio, where he explains his unique perspective on the news. “Major broadcast corporations tend to cater to their financers’ interests, while Jamie touts Citizen Radio as a place to receive news unaffected by corporate sponsorships or the like,” Cameron said. “They receive no money from anyone except the show’s listeners and don’t run any advertisements.” As Hanna said, “Anything we can do to help his and Citizen Radio’s mission is important.” Hanna believes the event should be both entertaining and informative. “It should be a really fun event for people on this campus to feel a little better about the state and future of the world while becoming even more impassioned about change and activism,” Hanna said.