In comedy, there’s such a thing as a “rule of threes” and one of the ways this rule manifests itself is in joke construction. Let’s say the premise of your joke leads to offering examples. Well, the first example highlights the premise…the second one establishes the pattern…but the third one, while it might meet the criteria of the premise, it does so in a way that breaks the pattern. This breaking of the pattern creates surprise…and surprise, often, leads to laughter.
The first Preliminary Week of the 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition had seemed to settle into a pattern: Steve Hofstetter would win the night, Sam Demaris would take second, Trenton Davis and Parker Postyeni would make the top 5. These things happened on the first night…then they happened again on the second night, thus establishing the pattern. The third night however…things got shaken up a bit…
Not that Trenton Davis didn’t try to hold onto his part of the pattern when he took the stage as the first competitor on this night at the Auburn Ave Theater. Over the years, people have had difficulty getting good scores when they go up first, but Trenton did all he could to defeat the “Go First Curse” that claims so many victims over the course of a competition (and definitely caught up Curtis Cook on Night Two.) Trenton rocked the house right out of the gate. He just didn’t end up making the Nightly Top 5.
Similarly, Parker Postyeni had a great set and excellent crowd response for the third straight night. A top five finish seemed guaranteed…but he found himself breaking the established pattern by not getting the scores necessary for him getting into the end-of-show picture.
Also breaking the pattern on this night was Sam Demaris, who didn’t end up finishing in 2nd place for the third straight night. He, at least, did make the Nightly Top 5 on Night Three…just not as high as 2nd place. Steve Hofstetter was not quite so lucky–as Steve slipped completely out of the Nightly Top 5 on Night Three, after two straight first place nightly finishes to start the competition.
Some new faces would push their way onto the podium on this night. Top honors would go to Garrett “Am I Australian? Am I Canadian? I am a Nightly Winner!” Clark–who had yet to make a top 5 so far this year but was always edging closer to getting to do so…and boy did he on this night. His excellent physicality proved to be quite a hit with both the audience and our judges on this night.
Also getting onto the podium for the night is Salt Lake City’s Jackson Banks who, like Garrett Clark, hadn’t made a Nightly Top 5 before this night but almost did on Night One.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at the official results for this night then…
SICC-34: Preliminary Week One-Night Three Top 5
1- Garrett Clark (Vancouver, BC)
2- Laura Hayden (Hermosa Beach, CA)
3- Rodger Lizaola (Seattle, WA)
4- Sam Demaris (Houston, TX)
5- Jackson Banks (Salt Lake City, UT)
Laura Hayden pushes her way back into the Nightly Top 5 and all the way up to the second spot while Rodger Lizaola also pushes his way a little higher each night, making a second straight Nightly Top 5.
Saturday night takes us across the ferry to Whidbey Island where we’ll be returning after a one-year absence to the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. Our previous shows here have been welcomed by the good local folks and we expect another good night with a great batch of comedians.
Now that the pattern has been broken, it’s opened up the scoring for the week in such a way that people who might have been getting complacent with their strong placement in both the first two shows of the week now know that they’re in a dogfight and that they can’t take anything for granted. For those who did well on Night Three, those scores will help them build their way into one of the five spots that will advance to the Semi-Finals.
We’re halfway through Preliminary Week One–still plenty of time for some comics to recover and for others to build momentum towards the end of the week. No one should be surprised by that. (Ha!)
WICA in Langley on a Saturday night–should be a very intriguing night, when it comes to the scores…and a very entertaining night, for those who come to see the show! We hope you do!