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Influencer Josh Richards Premieres ‘Read The Room’ Comedy Show At State Theatre

Canadian social media influencer Josh Richards premiered the first-ever showing of pre-recorded skits from his new comedy show “Read the Room” to an audience of hundreds of students at State Theatre Thursday night.

The school’s social media organization, Penn State Reach, brought Richards to State College as part of his college tour promoting the new comedy show.

Richards initially created funny content and posted it on social media starting when he was in 8th grade. Ever since he started posting, Richards knew he found his passion and has become popular across platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

“I’ve been finding ways to add depth to my personality and expand on the content I create because it’s what I love to do so much,” Richards said to the audience Thursday. “In the past year, I really wanted to up the production, being able to post stuff on TikTok that isn’t necessarily made on your iPhone or what you usually see.”

A few years ago, Richards, along with other rising social media stars such as Jaden Hossler and Bryce Hall, joined forces and co-founded the “Sway House.” After eight months of creating content with his friends every day, Richards opted to focus on furthering his content and ventures.

Since then, Richards has been co-hosting “BFFs,” with internet personality Brianna Chickenfry and Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy, which has become widely popular among college students.

His newest project, “Read The Room,” has been in the works since March 2023 and allowed Richards to get experience from other sides of the production process such as writing and editing.

Throughout the night, Richards shared three skits: a titanic parody, “Parkour Parker,” and “Good Doc, Bad Doc,” featuring “All American” star Michael Behling.

“It’s been really fun getting to have my personal comments on certain situations, but also getting to have it be funny as well,” Richards said.

With this new digital production, Richards took inspiration from the content of comedy skits he’s been seeing on his own feed, like clips from the TV show “Reno 911!” Richards noted that creators with little following have been skyrocketing due to reposting those types of skits. From that, he knew he could put his own creative spin by filming high-quality three to four-minute videos.

“I wanted to build something that was able to bridge the gap between traditional and social media,” Richards said.

Richards consistently elicited screams and energy from the crowd by making remarks about the Nittany Lions’ upcoming game.

“We gonna fuck up Ohio State or what?” Richards asked.

Richards also shared that he has a small role in an upcoming A24 movie starring Nicholas Cage and Noah Centineo, which was filmed in November 2022.

Happy Valley was Richards’ first stop on his college tour. From State College, Richards will head to Syracuse, New York, for his next show.

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a junior broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE, and is one of Onward State's writers. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your suggestions, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @evan.halfen or email: [email protected].

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