What started in April of this year has seen its conclusion on Thursday, September 3rd. We have had almost 30 comedians compete in this series of contests at Comic Strip Live over four different dates. Our industry judges deliberated passionately, our audience voted cautiously, and we have a winner.
We did have to deal with a slight hiccup early on, as the light was on for the entirety of the first two comics. Maryelle Turner did her best to roll with it as Comic Strip Live addressed the issue. It is very important for comedians to be able to improvise a bit and handle situations that arise like this.
Thursdays finale was nothing short of impressive as it turned into more of a showcase of some rising stars in comedy. Danny Delcolle, Debbie Bazza, Joseph Conklin, Katie Finn, John Kim, Chrissie Mayr, and Michael Briskin all brought their absolute best. After Briskin concluded his set the judges; Mark Anthony Ramirez, Sheba Mason, Gladys Simon, and Allan Finn all went outside to talk out their votes, thoughts, and ideas on who deserved the prize.
As I counted out the crowd votes a noticable trend came to light; the top three according to the audience were Katie Finn, Chrissie Mayr, and Michael Briskin. When I went outside to give the results to the judges, they all smiled and said that they completely agreed that those were their top three as well, followed closely by Joseph Conklin.
I asked the judges after some discussion; “Okay, but which ONE is the winner?”, as they wanted to give out a second prize because they were so impressed with the talent. Ultimately, they all agreed that Chrissie Mayr was the grand prize winner, giving a runner-up award to Katie Finn deservedly. Chrissie had the pleasure of having her father in attendance, and she had a blast with it swinging her more adult themed bits towards ‘I don’t do this, but I know someone who has…”, charming and dancing her way through material that could make family members blush. Her stage presence, set structure, and professional attitude seemed to easily win over the entire room.
After the show was over and having a brief conversation with Mark Anthony Ramirez, he remarked “That was a perfect set for a late night spot on television” in reference to Chrissie’s performance. The consensus among all of the judges was that Mayr needs to be seen by New York City comedy clubs, and be seen by them now.
Katie Finn, who until these contests was not on my radar at all truly has impressed me now twice. Her material really relates to such a broad audience, she will get laughs everywhere. Based on family and husband/wife material, it is impossible to not relate to her. I’m very excited that she is coming up to perform on September 17th at Lucy’s in Pleasantville. I see a bright future for Katie, and hope she keeps working.
This entire endeavor was all thanks to our host, Maryelle Turner. I’ve written before about how wonderful she is to work with. Her passion and dedication to detail and execution is unmatched, as well as her skills as a polished performer. Keep your sights set on Turner, and get her on your shows.
Congrats to all of our finalists, you all deserved to be on the show!