Thursday, April 22, 2010

Voting starts today for the National College Comedy Competition

The third edition of the National College Comedy Competition starts today, and at least four Boston area colleges -- Boston College, M.I.T., Emerson, and Tufts -- are competing. It’s an unusual competition, in that clips of the comics are posted on, but the comics don’t compete as individuals. They compete as teams in brackets, March Madness style.

The first round of voting starts today and ends Monday. Teams will be cut down to a “Sweet Sixteen,” and another vote April 29-May 3 cuts it further to the “Elite Eight.” The “Final Four” will be determined by yet another online vote May 20-24.

The top four individual comedians, the ”MVP” of each team, will get the chance to perform with some bigger names at the TBS and Just For Laughs-sponsored Very Funny Festival in Chicago June 15-19. Rooftop comedy is sponsoring the Competition, as well.

Rooftop produced on-campus talent searches to find talent from different colleges and universities. The initial eight comics were chosen by audience votes, then narrowed to four by a combination of audience votes and the votes of professional judges. “Given the nature of college campus spirit, it makes for a much more robust competition to engage the entire school through a team competition rather than one individual at a particular school.,” says Jenn Stokes of Rooftop.

Although the winners won’t be on the televised shows, they may be featured on the TBS Web site. As someone who has covered comedy for years, I feel most comics are in a somewhat vulnerable point in their development in college, which makes a competition with possible national exposure a somewhat dicey proposition. Stokes disagrees. She says the NCCC “provides a platform to help promote their comedy, improve their craft and gain national exposure.”

The Boston area teams:

Boston College
• Julian Kiani
• John Scola
• Meg Show
• Michael Wolf

• Michael Lin
• Jose Sepulveda
• Jason Strauss
• Morris Vanegas

Emerson College
• Keele Howard-Stone
• Daniel Rubinton
• Rachel Walls
• Blake Wexler

• Brian Agler
• Ian Donovan
• Samuel McCauley
• Matthew Nazarian

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