Myq Kaplan emerged victorious from last night's Final Four and Championship rounds of the 2009 March Comedy Madness competition at Carolines, which means not only kudos for him, but also more paid gigs for him at the club and an interview by ABC's mythical fourth hour of Good Morning America (it's all online, as far as anyone knows). Congrats!
But I also think it's informative to point out the instant retrospective from Final Four finalist J-L Cauvin, who provides an inside perspective on how contests can impact the psyche of a stand-up comedian, especially when you're fighting to move up the ranks and break out of the cycle of open mics, bringer shows and "new talent" nights. I am sure that many stand-ups can relate to Cauvin when he writes:
Probably for many comics, including myself, these competitions present the same opportunity that the lottery presents - an unrealistic hope that success will change, or accelerate a change in, one’s life, when all it amounts to is lost time and money for all but the winner. I have been on television twice and it has yielded jack sh*t. So when there is a chance to get paid work from a club and some modicum of exposure/respect it ramps up the importance, even if it is something you have done a thousand times. But the desire to “make it” or “get a break”, no matter how small the break may be just adds a layer of nervousness for me - like how Tommy in the film Tommy Boy describes how he fu-ks up a potential deal.