On Stage

Standup Stars

Seattle International Comedy Competition

Attend

What: Seattle International Comedy Competition Semifinals

When: 8 pm Sat., Nov. 17

Where: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

Cost: $21-$40

Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By the time the 10 semifinalists taking part in the 39th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition make their way to the area for a Sat., Nov. 17 show at the Mount Baker Theatre, they’ll have already shown they have what it takes to rise to the top of the comedic crop.

From the first round of preliminaries that took place Thurs., Nov. 2 at Seattle’s Unexpected Productions until the final show Sun., Nov. 25 at the Comedy Underground, the 32 performers who made the initial cut will have spread the love in 22 shows across 18 venues—not just in the Emerald City, but also in Langley, Auburn, Everett, Kelso, North Bend, Olympia, Bainbridge Island, Edmonds, Longview, Bremerton, and, yep, even Bellingham.

What this means for audiences across Western Washington is that they don’t have to venture to the big city to see stellar standup from near and far. Plus, the Mount Baker Theatre gig will be the final one before the contestants are whittled down to five for the final rounds, so they’ll be doing their best to draw your attention and get one step closer to $15,000 in cash prizes and the attention of major media talent executives from CBS, NBC, and beyond.

The top five contestants will be announced at Saturday’s show, and audience response will help the judges decide how best to cast their vote. If you’re in attendance, be sure and show your appreciation for your favorites, as your adulation will make a difference.

Those familiar with the regional standup scene might already recognize comedians such as Seattleites Bo Johnson—who can occasionally be found on Comedy Central—or Chris Meija, who moved to the city from Florida and now blends pop culture observations alongside harder-hitting subjects such as race relations.

From Spokane, you’ll meet Phillip Kopczynski, who has moved beyond being part of corporate America to performing for those who are still required to wear suits to work every day, and Harry J. Riley, a U.S. Air Force veteran who has 13 years of standup experience under his belt.

China-born Robert Peng now makes Vancouver his home, where he can be found on a regular basis at the Comedy Mix, Yuk Yuks, and Lafflines comedy clubs. And hailing from Vancouver BC, Dan Quinn merges the art of standup with stellar storytelling to great acclaim.

From Kitchener, Ontario, Landry describes himself as a “Canadian-born interracial love child whose hybrid existence, when mixed with a little dysfunction, makes for a fantastic recipe of comedy goulash.”

Also be on the lookout for Will Mars, a self-deprecating bloke from the United Kingdom who now lives in New York City. New Hampshire’s Drew Dunn and Houston-based Zahid Dewji are also on the bill.

While you’ll likely find a favorite from among the 10 semifinalists, keep in mind that any one of the performers would likely be able to command the stage on their own to become comedy competition royalty. If you’re feeling ambitious, purchase a ticket to the final show on Nov. 25, and find out who will wear the crown.

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