Comedian Andrew Collin reflects on time at Tulane

Abe Messing, Staff Reporter

selfie of andrew collin
Andrew Collin, Class of 2002 (Andrew Collin)

In fall 2019, 2002 Tulane graduate Andrew Collin, host of the podcast “Puddles,” returned to campus as a stand-up comedian with friend and host of The Nikki Glaser podcast, Nikki Glaser. Before this, he had only appeared on campus as the guy who could fit 45 cheese balls in his mouth, among other notable unofficial titles. Today, his legacy as a Tulane alumnus is complicated, entertaining and accomplished in a way he didn’t imagine when he was reveling in the city 19 years ago. 

Collin’s time at Tulane was destined to embody the spirit of audaciousness championed by President Mike Fitts right from the start. As a senior in high school, he visited his brother at Tulane, who was living with a Tulane Law student. 

“[My brother’s roommate] brought out a bulletproof vest and I tried it on,” Collin said. “And he said ‘look, it’s knife-proof,’ and then he stabbed me. It went through the vest and the knife went into my chest. I take the vest off and blood is shooting out of my chest.” 

Despite him being in the hospital for six hours as a result, he credits the injury with enabling him to meet and impress a college girl for the first time later that visit. “I was like ‘this is definitely the school for me,’” Collin said. 

Collin said most of his education came from the experiences he had rather than the classes he took as a student. “[Tulane] influenced me 100%. Tulane and New Orleans allows you to be as free and as wild as you can possibly be, and with regards to stand-up and being funny — there’s this feeling of dark humor in New Orleans that prepared me for being a comic now,” Collin said. “It made me tougher. It got me out of my shell.” 

He struggled to remember the names of his courses or professors, but he does credit Tulane’s emphasis on interdisciplinary studies with exposing him to artistic endeavours. “I really enjoyed the acting class while I was at Tulane … That was my first dive into creativity,” Collin, who majored in business and finance, said.

But the drive to start pursuing comedy professionally didn’t manifest itself in Collin until much later in life. Collin had been afflicted by self-doubt and the uncertainty that comes with being a comedian for a long while before taking affirmative steps forward in his career. “No one really took me seriously because I didn’t take myself seriously,” he said. “Everyone thought it was a miracle when I graduated.” 

Collin’s reputation for being a “ridiculous person” seemed to follow him for some time after his summer graduation ceremony too. “I read like one book on producing, or like half a chapter, and drove cross country because I thought I had a job as a production assistant,” Collin said. “It ended up being one weekend.” 

Nevertheless, Collin wears his foibles and mistakes like badges of honor. “Things changed for me later in life — I realized I could be silly and own who I am,” Collin said. “I didn’t always have to be self-deprecating. I could choose when to be.” 

Collin didn’t venture into stand-up comedy until he was 30. He was unaware student comedy organizations even existed on campus. “I don’t think I utilized what Tulane had to offer while I was a student there, but I really wish I had,” Collin said. His advice to students is to “really get outside of your comfort zone if you want to do stand-up.”