Update to this post: Due to a certified letter I got in the mail and a whole bunch of pestering emails, I recently redacted the name one of the subjects of this blog. I don't want to cause any trouble. I just want to help make a better comedy universe. Please enjoy the blog (with these minor changes).
Hi! I'm Jake!
As some of you may know, I was selected for the 31st annual Seattle International Comedy Competition. 400-plus comedians submitted their electronic press kits to get in the contest and only 32 comedians got in. So, it's an honor to be in the contest.
The SICC has made every effort to make this a great experience. The venues have been great. I've been super impressed by all the other contestants. Lastly, the contest officials have taken pretty much every step possible to make sure the contest is fair. The preliminary round runs 6 nights. Every night they announce the top 5 performers from that show. The audience gets to help judge; If they applaud long enough at the end of a contestant's set, the contestant gets an extra point, an encore point. So many things about this contest are great!
The one thing that isn't working is the emcee. A contest emcee has several responsibilities. Unfortunately, the emcee the SICC picked for this week, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED), is botching pretty much all of them.
THE EMCEE HAS TO WARM UP THE CROWD WITH A FUNNY SET.
On the first 2 nights, this did not happen. The crowd had a few stilted laughs during her set, but they were mostly uncomfortable until the 1st contestant of the evening got up there. They couldn't wait for the 1st contestant!
THE EMCEE HAS TO REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THE COMEDIANS THEY INTRODUCE.
The one thing you have to remember about each comedian is their name. That's it. On the first night, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) completely forgot the 15th contestant's name before bringing him out. In a panic, she had to walk over to the curtain to find out what it was. When the emcee panics, everybody gets a little tight.
On the second night, she totally botched Kortney Shane Williams's name. I think she called him Shane Kortney or something. She blamed it on the fact that he has 3 names. Yeah, that extra name could send anybody into a tailspin. Here's a trick: if you can't remember the names, bring the list with you on stage. No one will notice or care. Screw up the name, though, and at least 1 person will care a lot!
THE EMCEE HAS TO INTRODUCE EACH COMEDIAN WITH THE EXACT SAME INTRO SO EVERYBODY GETS A FAIR START.
Last night, at the 7th Street Theater in Hoquiam, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) told one of the comedians that she felt like she knew us contestants well enough at this point to come up with special intros for each of us. This was a catastrophe! For some comedians, she gave nice intros that highlighted her favoritism for them. This is inappropriate: it influences the judges and it influences the audience. For other comedians, she gave "funny" intros. Most of the funny intros ended up insulting the comics she was supposed to honor. For other comedians, she gave a flat "Here's the next comedian" intro.
Here are the intros (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) gave (in order):
- "Your first comedian, Jake Sharon." Okay, I got the generic intro. No problem. That's what everybody should get.
- "Your next comedian is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Please welcome Big Irish Jay Hollingsworth!" I don't know if that intro was supposed to be funny, but it didn't make any sense. Jay is 6'8" and 280 pounds. He doesn't leap jack. So, is this a Superman joke or a "he's too fat to jump" joke?
- "Your next comedian is a delicate flower. Please welcome Claire Brosseau." Delicate flower? That's pretty gay, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED). What is this? A douche commercial?
- "He's wildly funny... Eddie Pence!" No favoritism there, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED). That won't influence the audience and/or judges at all. Claire's a flower, Eddie is funny.
- "The very dapper, Toby Roberts." Another really gay compliment, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED). If he is dressed well, I am pretty sure the crowd will figure it out on their own.
- "He's at the top of my list, Joe List!" Very clever. What list are you talking about? The list of people whose intros you're going to ruin?
- "You're next comedian, Dave McDonough." Another generic intro. Sorry, Dave. I guess you aren't her favorite either.
- "My fellow shoe acquisition sister, Virginia Jones." Yeah, that's a good intro. You both go shopping for shoes since you're girls. That doesn't set women comedians back at all. "We shop, gossip, and loooove chocolate! We're girls! We fit a stereotype! Tee hee!"
- "The very disheveled, Brent Smalley." You have got to be kidding me (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED)! Some guys get dapper, very funny, wildly funny, and you're going to put Brent's clothes down? That will build instant rapport with the audience.
- "The always sharply dressed, extremely funny Auggie Smith!" See the previous intro. Tell me if you notice any contrast.
- "He's a cute nerd... Mike Drucker." Is that a compliment or an insult? That's as bad as saying "He's really good in bed but his face is ugly!"
- "He's wearing the jeans and shoes of a 13-year-old girl... Sean Ottey!" This may seem like an insult, but this line was actually a punchline to one of his jokes! She ruined one of the jokes he was doing in the contest! SHE RUINED ONE OF THE JOKES HE WAS DOING IN THE CONTEST! (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) ruined ruined ruined one of the jokes Sean was doing in the fricking contest! (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) ! (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) ! (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED)! Listen up! You are ruining this contest!
- "He's a cuddly bear, but not a gay bear... Derek Sheen!" WTF! Before this next comedian comes up, how about I talk about his sexuality? What if Derek was gay? You just un-outed him, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED)! You re-closeted him!
- "Always cool and handsome... Kortney Shane Williams." Repetitive. Favoritist. Guess you're out of cute remarks.
- "Last and certainly not least. Travis Vogt." Lame. Typical. Yep. Out of cute remarks.
AFTER THE LAST CONTESTANT, THE EMCEE HAS TO EXPLAIN THAT THE JUDGES ARE TABULATING SO THE CROWD SHOULD WAIT 15-20 MINUTES FOR THE RESULTS.
Typically, a headliner will tell some jokes while the crowd waits for the results. This keeps the crowd in the room so when they finally announce the results, the comedians can be honored in front of the crowd they just entertained. On the first night, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) forgot to announce that the crowd should wait for the results. Then she tanked a 20-minute set. This was the same night she also tanked her warm-up set. Since the crowd didn't want to sit through this anymore, and since they didn't know results were on the way, 66% of the crowd left. (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) saw Susan Jones, another comedian in the crowd and brought her up as a special guest. Susan rocked! Too late, though. The top 5 winners of the night were brought up to a near-empty house. What an honor.
In short, if you need a good emcee, please hire (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED). She'll do a great job.
Back to reality, though, I am really enjoying all other aspects of this contest. All the comedians have been amicable and extremely funny. The venues have been awesome. The coordinators, Jon Fox, Ron Reid, and Peter Greyy have been super cool as well. Note: this is not me sucking up after trashing their emcee. I mean to say I sincerely appreciate being here- despite the emcee.
Bye! I'm Jake!
P.S. (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) actually is a super nice lady. She is just a tragic contest emcee. Honestly, and truly, if you have a crowd that is in their 50s or older, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) is a good comedian for that demographic.
P.P.S. Actually, (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) is not a super nice lady. She is a total bitch who spent an entire year hounding me, complaining to the Seattle International Comedy Competition officials, sending me certified mail, and threatening me with lawsuits to get this blog entry removed. Fuck you (COMEDIAN'S NAME REDACTED) !