SICC 32: “Nice Grouping!” Preliminary Week Two Proves To Be A Closely Knit Bunch On Night One!

(And yes, that is a “Young Frankenstein” reference in the headline.)

Whereas the sixteen comedians in Preliminary Week One had the opportunity to get five competition shows under their belt before they faced the steel-eyed glare of the comedy industry judges they’d face on their “Industry Night,” the sixteen comedians of Preliminary Week Two of the 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition would have to dive right into the “Industry Night” pool at the Comedy Underground, Seattle, on their first night.   Not only might they not know exactly what works best for them in this competition or even in this area of the country, but they also didn’t know what their competitors were bringing to the stage or how what they did would look like when compared to what everyone else was doing.

And, I’d say that these sixteen comedians definitely rose to the challenge and put on an excellent show–a fact that was reflected in how close the scores were for this night.  The difference between first and fourth place was 7 HUNDREDTHS of a point!  That’s insane–it’s basically like having a four-way tie for first place.  Less than one point separates first place from ninth place!

Now, the night was not without some unexpected drama.  Toronto’s Darrin Rose, chosen to compete in this Preliminary Week, showed up only to beg our forgiveness for not being able to actually participate in the competition.  On his flight from Toronto, while laying over in Vancouver, he got a phone call from his agent with the information that he would be needed for a major event back in Toronto on Tuesday November 9th.  He still flew from Vancouver to Seattle to tell us in person–and he ended up performing a set at the end of the night as our “special guest” performer.  We’ll miss Darrin this week and we hope he actually gets to participate in next year’s competition.

What that meant was that at 6:37pm on the first night of the week, we had room for one more comedian from our alternate list–as if someone could drop whatever plans they had in order to jump right into the competition with barely over an hour’s notice.  And, luckily for us, we found one on our first try:  Seattle’s Mike Cummings now joins this week.  Mike is a veteran of this competition from two years ago and was one of the toughest decisions made to cut down this year’s roster from the available candidates…so, we’re proud to welcome him back to take Darrin’s spot in the roster.  Mike had an excellent set, regardless of the mad circumstances, and scored very well…but, because of the tight grouping, he did not make this night’s weekly top five.

Neither did Will Weldon, Rick Kunkler, Blake Wexler or Xung Lam–though all of them pocket scores that will definitely keep them towards the top of the leader board, in the hunt for the final five spots in this year’s semi-finals.

This night’s Top 5 includes a comedians from Los Angeles, Vancouver, Kansas City, Austin and New York…all grouped together here in Seattle.

Let’s take a look, then, at the Nightly Top Five for Preliminary Week Two-Night One of the 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition, as determined by comedy industry judges:

  1. Scott Moran (New York)
  2. Eric Krug (Austin)
  3. Mike Baldwin (Kansas City)
  4. Adam Pateman (Vancouver)
  5. Heather Thomson (Los Angeles)

The competition heads west for tonight’s second night of Preliminary Week Two at the lovely Upstage Bistro in the beautiful Port Townsend.

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