The San Francisco Comedy Tour left the Golden State rolling.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Nobody’s laughing now. Five of the competing comedians on the San Francisco Comedy Competition stand hunched over a laptop, staring incredulously at a spreadsheet where the scores from their just-completed showdown appear.
“That’s bullsh*t,” says one, throwing up a hand. “He shouldn’t have gotten the ‘obvious encore’ point.”
The quiet tension in the windowless basement beneath the stage of the Golden State Theater offers a stark contrast to the raucous environment these same men cultivated in the theater on Wednesday, Oct. 3, during the second stop of the competition’s five-city tour, which doubles as the finals for $20,000 in prizes.
A hilarious-himself “Chicago Steve” Barkley, who lived in PG for 35 years, led off. “I got a ticket in the mail – you know, where they take your picture,” he said. “I took a picture of $45 and mailed it back.”
Then the competitors talked airplane disasters, drinking, divorce, aging, racism, German police brutality and illegal immigration. The next day they departed for a stop in Chico, Calif., but not before they left behind a buffet of raw jokes.
Interestingly, one of the more compelling commentaries of the evening didn’t come from Barkley or any of the competitors. It came from an organizer, “scorekeeper” Tony Modica, a 20-year tour veteran who cautioned the comedians from getting too upset over finishing worst than first. “Some of the best finished second here,” he said, loading show props into a truck with 240,000 miles on its odometer. “Robin Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Dane Cook.”
Some of the highlights from the top three finishers follow below:
DAVID VAN AVERMAETE, FIRST PLACE
On the in-laws: “Every family has a toilet clogger. Mine is my sister-in-law. She craps asphalt. In fact, that’s probably how it got its name.”
On love: “My wife and I did the jewelry exchange thing. I got her a diamond ring. She got me a medic alert bracelet… She even had it engraved on the back: Do Not Resuscitate.”
On role-playing: “Alright, honey, I’ll play the wealthy widower with an airtight alibi… and a necrophilia fetish. You play dead. That shouldn’t be too hard for you.”
On marriage: “But really, if my wife ever left me, I don’t know what I’d do… first.”
On aging: “I started masturbating with my left hand – in case I get a stroke.”
MIKE BALDWIN, SECOND PLACE
On drunk driving: “I got pulled over and the cop said, ‘You’re way too drunk to be driving.’ I said, ‘Noooo. I’m too drunk to be talking to yooou.’ ”
On role modeling: “My niece, she’s a girl. She likes to play games when we go driving. Her favorite is Breathe Sober Air Into Uncle Mike’s Breathalyzer.”
On the seasons: “You know who hates autumn? Ninjas. ‘Cuz there’s crunchy leaves.”
On finances: “If I had all the money I’ve spent on pot, do you know how much pot I could buy with it?”
On hygiene: “I tried that ‘eye-opening’ body wash. I thought, ‘Huh, that’s a weird [product].’ Then I took a shower. Before I took it I was against gay marriage. After, I was like, ‘That’s cool.’ ”
PAUL OGATA, THIRD PLACE
On his height: “I’m 5-foot-3-inches. My family tree was a bonsai...I shop at the Big & Tall store just to freak the clerks out.”
On his marriage: “Yeah, I have sex with my wife, but only on special occasions. Like birthdays. When she’s been drinkin’. And she’s passed out.”
PAUL OGATA WOULD ULTIMATELY WIN THE COMEDY TOUR, FINISHING AHEAD OF VANAVERMAETE AND BALDWIN. A BEHIND-THE-SCENES WRAP-UP OF THE TOUR WILL BE POSTED ON SANFRANCISCOCOMEDYCOMPETITION.COM IN A FEW DAYS.