SICC-33: A Tale of Two Tacomas. (It was the best of times…etc. etc.)

The fact that our traditional starting day for the Seattle International Comedy Competition would have landed on Halloween created a situation where we’d be doing two shows in one night–that night was Saturday night and those two shows took place at the Comedy Underground in Tacoma.  We did a show at 7pm there, then we emptied the room brought in a new audience and judges and did a second show there at 10pm.  Each show counts separately for each comic’s scores…so they had to rock both shows.

To say that the two shows were different in character would be putting it mildly.  The 7pm show was a sweaty, sold-out, standing room only blast…with the crowd really enjoying everyone and everything and the judges rewarded our performers with big scores.  The 10pm show, not nearly as busy…and those that were there faded as the night went on.  There was also a large bachelorette party that dominated the attention during the show–but, to their credit…they responded enthusiastically for all the performers (so good on them.)

Now, a bachelorette party and a tired crowd on a Saturday late show is not an uncommon situation for any working comic to face…just a little odd when you’re being judged with numbers in a situation like that.  (And, frankly, a little odd to be doing all that in the basement below a country-line dancing bar–where the stomps of boots on the dancefloor could be heard throughout the second show…and, for some reason, the country dj upstairs chose to play “YMCA” at one point…not sure how the Village People have become a country act in the past 35 years…but there you go and now you know.)

Challenge accepted–our brave performers managed to do quite well on both shows…and here are the Nightly Top Five for each show.

Preliminary Week One-Show Three Nightly Top Five (early show)

1)  Michael Malone (Los Angeles, CA)
2)  Nathan Brannon (Portland, OR)
3)  Michelle Shaughnessy (Vancouver, BC)
4)  Ricarlo Flanagan (Detroit, MI)
5)  Jeremy Whitman (Tacoma, WA)

That made three shows in a row where Michael Malone took the top honors.  Michelle Shaughnessy makes her first Top 5 finish.  Tacoma’s own Jeremy Whitman snags a podium finish as well…just in front of Erik Allen, Brian Boshes and Tony Daniel.

The scores, on that early show, were great for everyone–top to bottom…nobody’s dropping THAT score from their weekly totals.

…but a few performers might be dropping their scores from the late show.  Those that won’t probably include the Top 5, as determined by our judges.

Preliminary Week One-Show Four Nightly Top 5 (late show)
1)  Nathan Brannon (Portland, OR)
2)  Nate Abshire (Minneapolis, MN)
3)  Mike Coletta (Seattle, WA)
4)  Michelle Shaughnessy (Vancouver, BC)
5)  Ricarlo Flanagan (Detroit, MI)

Nathan Brannon takes the top spot for the first time this year.  Nate Abshire returns to the top 5 for the first time since the first show.  Mike Coletta makes a top 5 for the first time…while Ricarlo Flanagan is now the only person to have made the top 5 for every night of the competition.  (Michael Malone, Matt Holt and Nigel Larson were right there…just outside the top 5.)

It was a long night–perhaps no one had a longer night than Nate Abshire, who went up first on the early show and last on the late show (proving how “up for the challenge” Nate was, having taken 2nd place on the late show!)

The fact that the Comedy Underground in Tacoma is located under the Big Whiskey Saloon leads many people to get the wrong idea about the comedy club.  It’s nice!  It’s got candles, comfortable seating, great staff…and, like on the early show, it can be packed with an appreciative audience who loves what every performer gave them…  It’s not like Bob’s Country Bunker from The Blues Brothers movie–there isn’t chicken wire mesh on the front of the stage or anything.

…although, on our way of the club at the end of the night…there was a huge drunken fight (I think someone got their tight jeans in a twist because someone scuffed their boots or something) that spilled out of the danceclub and into the street.  That suggested that our long night in Tacoma should probably end right there…

Still, it was a far better thing that our comedians did on this night than most participants in previous years of the competition had ever done before.  And we salute them for it.

SUNDAY NIGHT  November 4th
Preliminary Week One-Show Five (7:30pm)

Come out to the U-District and see these 17 great performers while you’ve got the chance!

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