Funniest Person in Bloomington for 2019: Kristen Lucas

The tally of Comedy Attic audience ballots last Wednesday made Kristen Lucas the Funniest Person in Bloomington this year. The vote put an exclamation mark on eleven weeks of competition that started in mid-June. For Lucas, it was the second time she’s won the title—she won the year before last, in 2017.

Last year it was Emil Wakim who won, and he was back in town on Wednesday to entertain the crowd during the counting of the ballots for the finals. Wakim spent part of the summer out on the west coast performing and will be on stage at the 208 Comedy Fest in Boise, ID next weekend.

The week before, it was previous winner David Britton—in 2014 and 2015—who performed during the ballot counting. The year after Britton’s back-to-back wins, Jonas Schrodt was named Funniest Person in Bloomington. This year Schrodt advanced to the semi-final round.

Joining Lucas in the finals were Mark Bookwalter and Abby Troughton. Lucas led off the night based on a random drawing. Continue reading “Funniest Person in Bloomington for 2019: Kristen Lucas”

Déjà two for next week’s final round of comedy festival

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.

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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?”

Continue reading “Déjà two for next week’s final round of comedy festival”

Semi-final field set for Bloomington Comedy Festival

Wednesday’s competition at the Comedy Attic’s Bloomington Comedy Festival added three candidates to the semi-final field of comedians who’ll compete next Wednesday for a spot in the finals on Aug. 28.

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The top three vote getters on Wednesday were Abby Troughton, Zach Rody and Shanda Sung.

They’ll join Jonas Schrodt, Mark Bookwalter and Kristin Lucas in the semifinals on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

It’s the same day as departmental budget hearings in front of the Bloomington city council for the Bloomington Housing Authority,
Housing and Neighborhood Development,
Economic and Sustainable Development,
Community and Family Resources, and
Parks and Recreation departments.

For many residents the potential scheduling conflict, between the civic and the comedic, could mean that tickets to the BCF shows are a smidgen easier to get in advance. The shows generally play to a sold-out venue.  Continue reading “Semi-final field set for Bloomington Comedy Festival”

Farmers market still funny for Bloomington Comedy Festival

The summer-long Bloomington Comedy Festival at the Comedy Attic put another week of competition in the books on Wednesday. It was the first of two quarter-final rounds, which feature six candidates each week.

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The top three of six vote getters on Wednesday were Mark Bookwalter, Jonas Schrodt and Kristen Lucas.

The six candidates up next Wednesday will be Zach Rody, Abby Troughton, Glenda Deford, Bob Nugent, Joshua Sullivan, and Shanda Sung.

Local happenings were again fodder for some of the bits on Wednesday.

Background for a couple of jokes was the two-week cancellation of the farmers market, which is operated by the City of Bloomington,  over public safety concerns. The concerns arose out of protests and counter-protests about the presence of a vendor believed to be associated with white-supremacist causes. Continue reading “Farmers market still funny for Bloomington Comedy Festival”

Bloomington Comedy Festival’s Round 2 wraps up, seasoned with farmers market sass

Brad Wilhelm, emcee of the summer-long Bloomington Comedy Festival, introduced Wednesday’s competition with a joke that traded on news that had broken two days earlier—the cancellation of the city’s farmers market for the next two weeks, over public safety concerns.

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There at the Comedy Attic, Wilhelm said, you won’t be arrested for holding an anti-white-supremacist sign. (At last Saturday’s market, a protester holding such a sign was arrested for holding it outside a prescribed area, the most recent incident in several weeks of rising tensions.)

On a serious note, Wilhelm suggested that audience members who found themselves unable to buy food from farmers market vendors in the next couple of weeks, put that money towards a $30 ticket to the Chef’s Challenge, an event to be held on Sunday at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Chef’s Challenge benefits Community Kitchen hunger relief programs.

Several farmers market vendors will be relocating for the next couple weeks at the east-side Bloomingfoods location, starting Aug. 3. Continue reading “Bloomington Comedy Festival’s Round 2 wraps up, seasoned with farmers market sass”

Comedy Attic set to finish second round of competition next Wednesday

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.

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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.

Continue reading “Comedy Attic set to finish second round of competition next Wednesday”

Another week at the Bloomington Comedy Festival is in the books: 2 women, 2 men advance

At Wednesday night’s competition at Comedy Attic’s Bloomington Comedy Festival the audience voted four of eight candidates on to the next round of competition.

Cropped Ballot Week 1 of Round 2 Comedy IMG_8881Two of the four were women, which means some of the crowd might have taken to heart a message from club owner Jared Thompson, which was passed along by emcee Brad Wilhelm in a previous week of the competition: “You’re allowed to vote for more than one woman.”

Advancing to the next round will be: Kaitlyn Blansett, Dan Paswell, Jonas Schrodt and Shanda Sung.

A few of the jokes told on Wednesday traded overtly on the topic of diversity. Paswell set up a joke about his neighbors by observing that Bloomington was diverse city, even if the crowd inside the club might not be. His neighbors, he said, included some lesbian bee keepers, a guy with a flag that said “Don’t tread on me!” and “a family of four…deer.” Continue reading “Another week at the Bloomington Comedy Festival is in the books: 2 women, 2 men advance”

Field of 24 now set for second round of Bloomington Comedy Festival

The civically-aware segment of the Comedy Attic’s audience on Wednesday night knew that the club’s emcee, Brad Wilhelm, is not a candidate for city office in Bloomington this year—even if Abby Troughton was on stage wearing a T-shirt promoting Wilhelm as mayor.
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The mayor’s race in Bloomington is uncontested, so no election for mayor will be held in November.

However, elections in Bloomington’s Comedy Festival continued on Wednesday, as six of ten comedians were voted through to the second round. Joining Troughton for the next round, which starts July 17, will be Zach Rody, Will Concannon, Josh Sullivan, Christian Linman, and Evan Frenz.

Wednesday’s competition concluded the first phase of the competition, which started with 40 comics. In each of the first four weeks, 10 competitors appeared on the ballot, and the audience voted for six of them to continue. Continue reading “Field of 24 now set for second round of Bloomington Comedy Festival”

No shortage of candidates in third week of Bloomington Comedy Festival

At noon on Wednesday, the expiration of candidate deadlines set the ballots for city elections in Bloomington—where a diminished number of candidates means no elections in most parts of the city this fall.

Cropped ballot Week 3 Comedy IMG_6789Eight hour later, the weekly balloting that is taking place this summer through the end of August at the Comedy Attic continued with no shortage of candidates.

Chosen by a vote of the people on Wednesday, and advancing to the next round, which starts July 17, are: Shanda Sung, Glenda Deford, Grant Volkmar, Riley Dismore,  Kay Daniel and Mark Bookwalter.

They’ll join the dozen performers who advanced in Week 1 and Week 2 of the competition and another six who will be chosen next week. Continue reading “No shortage of candidates in third week of Bloomington Comedy Festival”

Local jokes land in the second week of Bloomington Comedy Festival

The Comedy Attic’s packed house on Wednesday night missed the first round of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate debates held the same evening. But they were treated to even funnier routines by 10 competitors in this summer’s Bloomington Comedy Festival.

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The audience voted six of the 10 to the next round, which starts July 17.

Emily Davis, Spencer Whipple, Brian Carroll, Greg Winston, Kaitlyn Blansett, and Kristen Lucas will join six others who advanced last week, plus a dozen more who’ll be chosen over the next two Wednesdays. Continue reading “Local jokes land in the second week of Bloomington Comedy Festival”