For the first time ever, the Seattle International Comedy Competition paid a visit to Emory’s on Silver Lake in Everett. This beautiful and somewhat rustic dinner club with excellent water views and truly delicious food is the regular home for “Everett Comedy Night”–a twice monthly show produced by Cory Michaelis, a comedian in his own right who competed in last year’s competition.
Coming off of four straight theater shows, this year’s competition roster would be challenged by some of the “real world comedy” elements that they hadn’t had to experience so far in the competition–people are scattered around tables in a room that was not built specifically for performances (but, thanks to the efforts of Cory and the staff at Emory’s, totally works for comedy), there’s wait service going on all around, towards the end of the night there’s the “check drop” moment…and there’s a more casual atmosphere in general, forcing the performers to really capture the attention the audience and command the stage to deliver the funny.
The crowd on this night couldn’t have been more attentive or appreciative of those comedians they really enjoyed…and those comedians who did command the stage were rewarded by strong responses and good scores from our judges. In the end, that’s all we’re looking for in a competition venue (well, that and a delicious garlic bread prime rib french dip sandwich and tasty fries! Mmmmmm!)
This being the second to last night of this Preliminary Week, many comedians came into this night knowing that they needed good scores to stay in contention for grabbing one of the five spots that will move on into the Semi-Finals. Others knew they couldn’t afford a bad set if they were to hold onto one of those spots that they currently held. And, truth be told, some of our roster knew that the odds were no longer going to be ever in their favor and they wanted to make the mockingjays sing before they took a Katniss arrow to the throat. (What? It’s a Hunger Games reference.)
Trenton Davis spit fire on this night to be sure. I could tell he felt that he left a couple of potential big scores on the table due to a minor slip up or two (like on the “TV Clean” night at the Auburn Ave Theater, where one word choice made the difference between a potential night winning set and one that finished well out of the Top 5 on that night.) He chose this night and this show to make his stand, he left no secret weapon unusued and ended up with the set of the night (one that even had our Producer, Ron Reid, convulsing helplessly with laughter…and I’m not sure, but some wine might have shot out of his nose… Trenton can do that to you.)
But the man in the persimmon pants was not the only one to rock the mic on this night. Steve Hofstetter, going up laughs, also felt he had something to prove–having missed out on the Top 5 on two consecutive nights after having won the first two nights. He landed some massive uppercuts to close out the night as the 16th performer to go up and nearly tied Trenton for top honors on the night. And Kortney Shane Williams was only a single point on a single judge’s scoresheet behind Steve!
So, some familiar faces in the Top 5 for the night…let’s take a look at the official results from the night:
SICC-34: Preliminary Week One-Night Five Top 5
1- Trenton Davis (Chicago, IL)
2- Steve Hofstetter (Queens, NY)
3- Kortney Shane Williams (Seattle, WA)
4- Sam Demaris (Houston, TX)
5- Rodger Lizaola (Seattle, WA)
The previous show’s wonder girl, Meghan Flaherty, just missed making her second consecutive podium finish in 6th place and Art Krug had, perhaps, his best set of the week so far and landed himself in 7th place.
There is only one show left for the sixteen performers in Preliminary Week One to stake their claim to be one of the five who will move on to the Semi-Finals. They have to get big scores and hope that their fellow competitors don’t on one show–in front of top name industry representatives from ABC, CBS, NBC, Disney, Comedy Central and more–on Monday night at the Comedy Underground, Seattle. All week has been building to this one night and some very talented people will be very happy while other also very talented people will be disappointed.
Yep…tonight (Monday 11/11) is going to be one of those “thrill of victory, agony of defeat” kind of nights…but Sunday night at Emory’s in Everett will be remembered as a great night of comedy in a great location with good friends and good food.