Competition in the Comedy Attic’s Bloomington Comedy Festival continued Wednesday night as the audience voted four of eight candidates on to the next round.
Earning enough votes to go through to the next round were: Kristen Lucas, Emily Davis, Joshua Sullivan and Mark Bookwalter.
Another four comics will be selected next Wednesday. That will finish the three weeks of second round competition, making a total of 12 candidates who’ll advance to the third round.
The 11 weeks of competition started with 40 contestants in the third week of June. In each of the first four weeks, six out of 10 candidates were voted through to the next round. The finals take place on Aug. 28.
The even gender split of those advancing on Wednesday mirrored the result from the week before.
Highlighted in some of the humor of those who advanced were themes of diversity—sexual orientation and race. Lucas and Davis are gay and Sullivan is the only person of color in the competition.
Sullivan took the stage with an energetic salutation for the nearly all-white audience, “What’s up white people, white folks in the house!” He then greeted a woman at a front table, who was one of two black people in the place, “What’s up Kim, how are you doing, Kim?” continuing the bit by telling the crowd, “We’re not related!”
Another bit from Sullivan involved learning how to stay safe among white people by figuring out white people are afraid of…gluten. This he’d learned by living among white people in Indiana and Ohio.
The Midwest as a region served as some fodder for Davis, even if her set was dominated by jokes about her sexuality.
She led off her set with a joke that traded on Midwesterner locutions of politeness and their pastimes. In a Subway restaurant, Davis said, she was navigating the line and said to another woman, “Oop, sorry, just gonna squeeze past ya,” and at exactly the same time the other woman said, “Oop, sorry, just gonna sneak by ya.” The punchline: “And in that moment, I think a cornhole board got its wings.”
Here are the four who advanced Wednesday as they appeared in previous rounds: