While word slowly spreads about the return of NBC's Last Comic Standing, Improv owner Budd Friedman is helping preside over a lesser-known contest for aspiring talent that's tied to the video release of Funny People.
The search for "The Next Funniest Person in America" accepted submissions online at Friedman's iJoke.com, and judges picked their top five which went to an online public vote. The top three vote-getters earned a trip to Las Vegas, where they'll perform tomorrow, Jan. 27, at the Improv at Harrah's Las Vegas. The winner gets? A paid six-night run at the same club later in 2010.
The finalists? Alysia Wood, Jason Marcus and comedy/music duo Carlie & Doni. Here's a local TV news report on the event from Vegas. If you look closely, you can see some of the other contestants, too!
Via my friends at Shecky magazine comes word that many of the old-timey (and by old-timey, I mean older than me) Seattle comedians got together for a good ol' barbecue picnic, and Alysia Wood filed a report on the matter with her own reflections on how these comics helped her find her way in stand-up. As someone who saw Wood make her initial appearances at the Comedy Underground, it's doubly nostalgic for me to read her thoughts on such Seattle stalwarts of stand-up as Peggy Platt, Cathy Sorbo, Brad Upton, Rod Long, Cliff Barnes, Kermet Apio and Undergrounders Ron Reid and Carl Warmenhoven. Her description of the back of the Underground and everyone hanging and talking smack and joking really brings me back. Ah, memories.
Related: The Comedy Underground, temporarily booted from its current confines in Pioneer Square, begins a summer weekend series in West Seattle on July 11-12. But where do we go for the open mics?! Argh.