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‘Daily Show’ correspondent honed funny bones at Kalamazoo College

Flip on “The Daily Show” and there’s a good chance you’ll see “Senior Caucasian Correspondent” Jordan Klepper.

In just a year on the show, his takes on instability in the Ukraine, “Britain’s Non-Issues” and “Star Hack: The Nude Generation” have made him a fan favorite.

A few years ago, you could have seen him on stage during Kalamazoo College’s production of “Glengarry Glen Ross” or with the improv troupe Monkapult, which also counts “Walking Dead” star Steven Yeun among its alumni.

A Kalamazoo native and ’01 graduate of K-College, Klepper credits theater professor Ed Menta for nurturing his love of improv and organizing trips to see Second City, the Improv Olympics and other performances in Chicago.

At Kalamazoo, Klepper honed an act called “Free Pudding” that involved wearing gigantic cowboy hats and serving the crowd – you guessed it – free pudding.

Klepper graduated that year and went to Second City. Over the years, Klepper has moved upward through the ranks, joining the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City and collaborating often with his wife, Laura Grey, before graduating to “The Daily Show.”

His career may be high-profile, but it’s a lot like others that began at Kalamazoo College and Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities.

Purposefully small, they pride themselves on molding young talent. Smaller class sizes allow passionate faculty to form bonds with students that just aren’t possible at larger universities. Instead of crowds, the colleges emphasize community.

Often less expensive than public institutions, the independents boast higher four-year graduation rates and smaller class sizes for a truly unique and affordable experience.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.