Seattle International Comedy Competition

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!


Photo by Peter Greyy

November 30 2008

After 23 shows in 26 days in 19 Washington venues, Los Angeles-based comedian TOMMY SAVITT, a former attorney turned stand up comic, was named the winner of the 29th Annual Seattle International StandUp Comedy Competition after a final sold-out show on Sunday November 30, 2008 at Seattle's Comedy Underground.

The Brooklyn native, who is still licensed to practice law in New York and California, defeated all comers to take the grand prize of $5000 and a recording contract with national comedy label Uproar Entertainment.

Finishing second, and taking home $2000, was young Olympia resident Nate Jackson, a graduate of Eastern Washington University who has spent most of the last few years pursuing fame and fortune in Hollywood.

Third prize of $1500 went to the pride of Preston, Idaho Todd Johnson; 4th ($1300) was 24 year old Justin Rupple from Issaquah, WA; placing 5th ($1200) was Canadian representative Lars Callieou of Edmonton, Alberta.

Mr. Savitt, who had made the finals of the event in 2004 and was the 2007 winner of the Boston Comedy Festival, will be making a "victory tour" of area comedy venues, including Friday and Saturday December 5 and 6 at Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland; Thursday through Sunday December 11-13 at The Comedy Underground in Seattle's Pioneer Square; and New Year's Eve at the Historic Everett Theatre in downtown Everett.

The 2008 edition of the Seattle Competition was sponsored by Pagliacci Pizza, The Seattle Weekly, and 103.7 FM The Mountain.

Finals Night 4 - Admiral Theatre

Nice to see your name up in lights!

Almost every show since the beginning of the semi-finals has been a sellout - and tonight was no exception. Capacity at the Admiral is just under 800. That's a lot of laughter.
Also, as in all Finals shows, 5 judges - who weren't necessarily in total agreement with the abovementioned crowd.
Here is the tale of the tape: 1. Nate Jackson 2. Todd Johnson 3. Justin Rupple 4. Tommy Savitt 5. Lars Callieou

Which means that 1.01 points separate 1st from 5th overall. Which means it all comes down to Sunday's Final-Final at the Underground. See ya there.

Finals Night 3 - Kirkland Performance Center

Picture one: L-R: Damonde Tschritter (host), Justin Rupple (5th), Nate Jackson (4th), Tommy Savitt (1st), Ron Reid (producer), Lars Callieou (3rd), Todd Johnson (2nd)

Young Justin Rupple went slightly under the time requirement for this show which earned him a penalty point and pushed him down into 5th place. Since the audience doesn't always get an explanation of every scoring detail, the announcement of order of finish prompted a few boos.

But as it turned out, it was a Savitt kind of crowd anyway.

We have been doing shows at this 402-seat gem of a theater since it opened in 1998. For the last several years, we have partnered with KPC for 3 shows per season; this Comedy Competition final the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend; New Year's Eve; and Valentine's Day. It could not be a better, more hospitable environment for standup comedy. The audiences are smart, playful, and relatively sober (although alcohol is definitely available). The staff is professional, and our history here makes everything effortless. This year's events are tinged with a little sadness, however, as Executive Director Steve Lerian has moved on to the position as Director of Cal Poly Arts in San Luis Obispo, California, and longtime Production Manager Stephanie Hippen is leaving next week for her new post at Seattle's Benaroya Hall. We wish them well in their new ventures, and while we treasure our relationship with the theater, it just won't be the same.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is our day off, we will see you Friday at the Kirkland Performance Center, Saturday at the Admirral in Bremerton, and the big night Sunday at the Comedy Underground.
The classic Paul Simon Saturday Night Live turkey sketch on NBC in 1976. Enjoy!

Finals Night 2 - Vashon Theater - Topsy Turvy

"The first shall be last and the last shall be first." I think God said that, didn't he? Well, he was right.
Young Nate Jackson, finishing 5th on opening night, was in the first spot tonight, and veteran Tommy Savitt ended up in 5th after his win on Tuesday.

Host David Crowe and tonight's champ Nate Jackson. Be sure to catch David's one-hour comedy special on Showtime premiering Dec 4!

This has become a holiday tradition for us, and for the Vashon Islanders. . .big comedy show the night before Thanksgiving. Eileen and Gordon Wolcott, and their daughter Rachel and staff are gracious hosts, and there could not be a more mellow community of folks on this island in the Sound. We were missing our Vashon celebrities this year (Alex Borstein from "Family Guy" and hubby Jackson Douglas from "Gilmour Girls" were in NY with their new baby) but it didn't dampen any spirits and evening was fantastic, even though we had to ride the "long boat" home at midnight.
Thanks to all our judges, and special thanks to Marty Schaeffer for the cool buttons!

Finals Night 1 - The WAC

Tommy Savitt with Guest Host Vince Valenzuela

Nothing wac about it - it's the second year we have had our Finals opening night at the posh Washington Athletic Club in downtown Seattle. They created this cool stage set for us - an outdoor scene of a brick wall (of course) complete with hanging street lamps. Nice. Tom Waits would have felt right at home on the stage, if not at the venue. The entertainment staff also decided to award a
"WAC Favorite" certificate by ballot of the audience. And unlike last year, when the judges picked Key Lewis and the crowd went with eventual champ Marcus, it was unanimous: Tommy "Hey Tommy" Savitt in a sweep. 2nd went to Todd Johnson, 3rd to Lars Cailliou, 4th to Justin Rupple and 5th to Nate Jackson.

Meet The Finalists!

Semi-Finals Night 6: Our first time ever at Marson's at Club Casino. Nice room, the casino's restaurant which is transformed on Friday and Saturday nights into a comedy club. This was their first time doing a Sunday show, and it worked out extremely well for all concerned. Good food, good atmosphere, great hospitality once again - our thanks to owner Tony Marson and comedy manager Tobie Seth.
Great show as well - although the producers want to know why the loud talkers always sit in the front? A rhetorical question. . .
Anyway, a couple of people had to really bring it, and so it was brung. Lars Cailliou, up last, finished first for the night, and Nate Jackson finished third, thereby knocking the smooth and steady Murv Seymour down to 6th overall by 39/100ths of a point.


The Finalists in the 2008 Seattle International StandUp Comedy Competition are, in no particular order:
Lars Cailliou, Edmonton AB Canada; Tommy Savitt, Los Angeles CA; Justin Rupple, Issaquah WA; Nate Johnson, Lacey Wa; and Todd Johnson, Boise ID.

Finals start Tues November 25 at the Washington Athletic Club, and continue through the week, ending Sunday November 30 at The Comedy Underground in Seattle.

We will finish updating this blog later, details about the performers and the upcoming shows are here on the site.

Semi-Finals Night 5 - Lucky Eagle

Wow. As Peter Greyy said, this was our "arena show." Over 1000 people, the largest audience we have ever had for a Seattle Comedy Competition event. Thank you to the Lucky Eagle and show promoter Mike Wally Walter!
This is how the judges saw it:
L-R: Nate Jackson (4th), Ron Osborne (host), Justin Rupple (2nd), Tommy Savitt (5th), Todd Johnson (1st), Murv Seymour (3rd), Mike Wally Walter (guest performer)

Semi-Finals Night 4 - Skagit Casino Resort

In booking venues for the Competition, we try to provide the comedians with a wide variet of experiences and audiences. Our smallest was a great little bar in Hoquiam, Washington, which held maybe 60 people. Our biggest audience of the tour so far was the Columbia Theater for the Arts in Longview, where we entertained somewhere in the neighborhood of 800. I think Saturday's show at the Lucky Eagle will be in that area, or maybe even 900.
But one of our favorites is always the Pacific Showroom at the Skagit. 450 seats, always sold out, professional stage crew, great dressing rooms and backstage hospitality. It feels like the "real thing."
Tonight's bonus - Kevin and the tech crew provided a computerized light show in all the Encore Point applause breaks. Mah-velous.
Oh, yeah, here are the rankings for the night:

L-R: Tommy Savitt (5th), Murv Seymour (4th), Todd Johnson (1st), Justin Rupple (3rd), Cain Lopez (host), Nate Jackson (2nd)

  © Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved. Hosting by GetWally. SITEMAP