The performers coming in from out of town to compete in Preliminary Week One of the 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition were certainly not going to complain that Seattle was not living up to its rainy reputation–as a Winter Storm Warning for the area brought a downpour to the Emerald City. Mother Nature could do her worst–if this year’s competition wasn’t going to surrender to thousands of Sounders fans, it certainly wouldn’t let a little rain stop its opening night.
Because of the Sounders playoff game, the location of tonight’s show was moved to the Annex Theatre on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful and welcoming…and, despite the last minute change, an eager crowd awaited the sixteen comedians who make up the contestants in Preliminary Week One. This would be the first of six shows with these comedians and, for many, it was their first opportunity to check out their fellow competitors.
The audience was treated to a great show, top to bottom, as every performer showed exactly why they were picked to participate in this year’s event. Host Billy Wayne Davis kept the show moving and special guest (and former Seattle International Comedy Competition finalist) Greg Wingo added his efforts to the stall set while scores were being totalled.
The big news from this show was the excellent performance of Portland’s Ian Karmel that should have put him into tonight’s Top Five…except that he stretched his act 16 seconds past the time limit. The time penalty he received pushed him from a tie for second place down to sixth.
Without Ian, the Top Five for the night looked like this:
- Jono Zalay (Boston)
- Mark Normand (New York)
- John Beuhler (Vancouver BC)
- Sam Demaris (Houston)
- David Tveite (Seattle)
Five more opportunities for these comedians to get the best scores they can–only the top five will move on to the Semi-Finals. Preliminary Week One-Night Two takes place tonight, November 3rd, at Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland.