Jesse is a talk show host, comedian, and media personality based in Pittsburgh. As the creator and inaugural host of the Emmy-nominated late night show, Pitt Tonight, Jesse has hosted over 50+ events in the Pittsburgh area. From rallies, fundraisers, and debates, to sporting events, concerts, and gameshows, his enthusiasm, wit, and ability to tailor to his audience make him the ideal master of ceremonies for any situation of any size.
(Plus, he's even opened for Joe Biden. So yeah.)
In addition to serving as the host of Pitt Tonight, the University of Pittsburgh's highly popular late-night TV show, Jesse has served as an emcee at several campus functions, most notably as the MC for the annual Pitt Dance Marathon, which raised more than $250,000 this year, and for other events hosted by the Dean of Students or the Division of Student Affairs, including more serious events that addressed the issue of sexual assault prevention. Jesse has reported on Student Government Board elections and the grand opening of the Pitt Sports Dome, using Facebook live to capture the essence and spirit of the events. Jesse is very accommodating. He will model his style and delivery based on the needs of the client. He is funny, and knows how to incorporate an appropriate level of humor into programs based on the audience, whether it's pre-planned jokes or impromptu comments. He just interacts with people at various levels very well. Perhaps the best indicator of this occurred in February when he was one of four students who was selected to participate in an open Q&A with the University Board of trustees during an open meeting. He was exceptionally candid and respectful. Jess was one of seven finalists for Senior of the Year at Pitt, another indication of his maturity and the positive impact he made on our campus during his collegiate career. I recommend him wholeheartedly to MC your event.
Jesse Irwin is a host, comedian, conversationalist, and sometimes, if you are lucky enough to hear, singer. As the host of Pitt Tonight, Jesse fit the role outstandingly. He made guests feel comfortable and was quick on his feet with hilarious jokes and personality. We get the feeling that the show is not just about having a good time, but he's really trying to dig up interesting topics to talk about.
What I really enjoy is the production of the show. Jesse has organized and led a stand out team of people, and Pitt Tonight has to have been one of the most impeccable student run organizations I have ever seen. The shows are made up of hilarious stand up bits, interesting conversations, and really great musical guests. When I see a student run production, it tends to feel somewhat incomplete, rough around the edges. This is not the case with Pitt Tonight. From the moment you hear the house band play the theme and Jesse Irwin steps on stage, the show really proves itself as being professionally done.
As I myself was a glidecam operator for most shows, I found Jesse was a joy to work with. Before a show would start he would come up to me and try to brainstorm and coordinate cool shots for me to grab while the show was going. As a leader he is great at starting the conversation and then seeing where you take it. Yes he has a vision, and he makes that vision happen, but with Pitt Tonight I see someone who has made a collaboration of many different people produce wonderful results.
The finale was one of the greatest live shows I have ever seen. Jesse was quick with jokes, and is never afraid to let himself be the butt of a few jokes and gags. There were moments of great hilarity mixed with moments of sincerity. And the final number, well, I have been raving about it ever since I witnessed it. After a heartfelt speech about how he's enjoyed being the host of the show, and a few gags about how they need to figure out how to close it, Jesse kicked off the number. It started slow, and then with a curtain swinging open, suddenly there appeared every single musical guest the show has had, and then they all performed the Joe Cocker version of With a Little Help From my Friends. There was the jazz band, rock guitarists, even a choir singing back up. Nothing short of outstanding. When the number ended with Jesse doing a mic drop, it was hard to hear anything over the roar of the audience.
Jesse is a great host and comedian and all of the things I have mentioned above. But I think one of his greatest strengths is his showmanship. A person who knows how to, with any medium or method, transport you to a new and exciting place. He puts on a great and heartfelt show, and as host, this talent really shines.
Jesse hosted the Pitt Program Program Council's 2016 Bonfire and Pep Rally for the University of Pittsburgh. Jesse helped get a crowd of several thousand students, alumni, and fans on their feet and ready for the Pitt Football season opener. He had witty banter with Bubba from 100.7 Star's the Bubba Show. Jesse was prepared, flexible, and very professional. I would recommend Jesse for any hosting gig.
We booked Jesse for a university event with a short turnaround deadline and some creative limitations and he delivered. He may stray off book on occasion during the course of a show, so having a communicated sense of what is and is not out of bounds is critical, but he was very communicative with the producer and event writer in coming up with material for the event and in being a consummate professional during the rehearsal and actual event.
Price Range: Anything that works for both of us!
As long as Jesse can remember, he's always wanted to entertain and inform. Taking on the roles of Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" and Ren McCormick in Footloose, Jesse captured his love of performance in elementary and middle school. Come high school, he took on journalism, being sports editor for the school paper, creating and anchoring the school's online news channel, and doing the morning announcements over the intercom. Jesse also was the place kicker for his high school's football team, making All-City his senior year. Furthermore, he was a starting singles player for the City Championship winning tennis team, and participated as a player and coach for several basketball programs.
In October 2012, Jesse was forced to withdraw from Penn State University after he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and spent the remainder of the year hospitalized. After making a full recovery, Jesse transferred to the University of Pittsburgh, where he hit the ground running by doing play-by-play sports broadcasting on WPTS-FM and all sorts of reporting for The Pitt News.
Then, Jesse started hosting.
With what began as a simple idea, Jesse assembled a staff of 70+ students to help him create the on-campus late night show – "Pitt Tonight." Serving as a talk/variety platform for corners of the university and city to come together, "Pitt Tonight" provides an educational opportunity for students pursuing everything from writing and production to marketing and music (that's right, there's even a house band). Taping in front of audiences of 500, and with guests ranging from politicians, scientists, rock bands, and screenwriters, to poets, cafeteria workers, ballerinas, and athletes, Jesse used the late night format to spotlight the unappreciated members of the school community, and to hone his skills as an emcee. In October 2016, "Pitt Tonight" was nominated for two regional Emmy's for Best Arts & Entertainment Program and Jesse in the Talent Category – the first Emmy nominations in University of Pittsburgh history.
Since then, Jesse has emceed 50+ events around the city of Pittsburgh, including opening for Vice President Joe Biden in Spring 2016. He has also reported from countless events, including live streaming for the White House's Frontiers Conference in Fall 2017.
Jesse is currently based here in Pittsburgh, doing standup comedy, improv, and reporting for several outlets. For what it's worth, Jesse also plays piano and guitar by ear, and has performed with multiple groups around the city.
Influences & Inspiration
Steve Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Louis C.K., Johnny Carson, John Mulaney.