On Wednesday, three candidates advanced to the finals of the Bloomington Comedy Festival, based on a vote of the audience: Mark Bookwalter, Abby Troughton and Kristen Lucas.
The two women were finalists last year.
Lucas won the competition in 2016, which made her the Funniest Person in Bloomington three years ago.
Bookwalter, Troughton and Lucas will compete for the title at the Comedy Attic next Wednesday, Aug. 28.
On Wednesday, Lucas took the stage as the sixth and final comedian of the night after Bookwalter led off the evening. “I was pumped to see that Mark Bookwalter and I got the same haircut!” delivering the punchline as she doffed the baseball-style cap she typically wears on stage.
Troughton, too, riffed off Bookwalter with her opening bit. Bookwalter had told a joke about his wife wanting an open marriage, and when Troughton got the mic she announced, “Hey guys, I’m Mark’s wife … He didn’t say anything bad about me, did he?”
Past winner of the competition, David Britton, was visiting on Wednesday from Rhinebeck, New York, where he lives now, and was invited to deliver a set at the half-way part of the night. It featured a bit about a sign with some tedious pricing of tacos. It had a Bloomington connection—the sign with the taco prices was posted at Rachael’s, which closed back in 2015.
The local humor that was a part of Zach Rody’s set got good laughs, but wasn’t enough to put him through to the finals. Rody welcomed students back to town: “Good luck navigating in this town…it took me five years to figure this out. Can we all agree that Bloomington was seemingly designed by a drunk kid playing Sims late at night? Like some kid is like, “Oh, oh, what if we have one-way street going right into another one-way street?” Oh, you mean 3rd Street? Right over there!”
The summer-long competition started in mid-June with 40 comedians. Comedy Festival shows at the Comedy Attic play to a full house. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.