SICC-32: Rick Kunkler Gives Thanks To the Judges for a 1st Place Finish On Night Two of the Finals

It is one of the traditions of the Seattle International Comedy Competition to brave long lines, choppy seas and inclement weather to take a ferry over to Vashon Island to put on a Thanksgiving Eve show at the wonderful Vashon Theatre–and this year was no exception.

What was exceptional on this night was the strange way the show ended–not how the comedy ended, because all five of our finalists managed to put forth their best efforts yet again for an appreciative crowd…and host Duane Goad made hay with some local police blotter stories that really whipped up the crowd to kick things off…and a good time was had by all.

What was strange was during the announcement of the order of finish, as determined by the judges–when Mrs Hughes was announced as the third place finisher, everyone–even Rick Kunkler, who himself was yet to be called to the stage–thought that it would be another nightly win for Kansas City’s Mike Baldwin, who had yet another incredibly strong set.  Rick, who had an excellent set himself, to be sure, was even on his way towards the stairs to the stage, as he expected his name to be called as the 2nd place finisher of the night…but had to veer off, in shock and surprise, when Mike Baldwin’s name was announced in that position instead.

The audience, however, was not necessarily in agreement with the decision–and Mike’s being announced in second place was met with loud “Boo’s”.  It wasn’t so much that they were booing Rick Kunkler–for they did really enjoy his performance–but they were trying to give Mike the recognition that they thought he deserved–and that continued when Rick was brought to the stage…and some in the crowd started chanting “BALD-WIN!  BALD-WIN!”

To say that this is not the way that Rick Kunkler wanted to celebrate his first nightly win in this year’s competition would be an understatement.  On the other hand, the cheers and the chanting for Mike Baldwin were nice–but he’d rather have had the 11.00 score that a nightly win earns you…something that Rick got for his efforts tonight.

So, a little bit of drama on the night before Thanksgiving…

Let’s see the exact order of finish for Night Two of the Finals of the 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition.

  1. Rick Kunkler (Seattle/Los Angeles)
  2. Mike Baldwin (Kansas City)
  3. Mrs Hughes (Pismo Beach)
  4. Patrick Keane (Los Angeles)
  5. Rodney Sherwood (Seattle)

The competition takes Thanksgiving Night off–enjoy your Turkey or Tofurky everybody!–but will return to action on Friday night at the Mt. Baker Theater in Bellingham.  (Tickets still available!)

There are only three shows left–Friday in Bellingham, Saturday at the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton (which I hear is close to selling out!) and Sunday at the Comedy Underground in Seattle, where a new champion will be crowned.

Hope to see you at one of these excellent (and, sometimes, rather dramatic) comedy shows!

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