A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
Topic: Seattle International Comedy Competition
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
December 10, 2013 at 5:00 AM
Before winning the the 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition, Zoltan Kaszas was an injured wannabe professional wrestler performing in a converted warehouse doubling as a comedy club.
Now, the 26-year-old from San Marcos, Calif. is meeting with an agent and a talent coordinator for Fox Television.
On stage Kaszas, who once coached a youth soccer team, uses observational humor and anecdotal jokes from his personal life to get laughs.
“I wouldn’t have signed up to coach if they had told me that all their games are on Saturday mornings at 7,” he said. “I like to drink. I’m not teaching these kids anything except what a whiskey hangover smells like.”
Kaszas spoke over the phone to us about his big win and the plans he has for the future.
How long have you been performing?
I’ve been doing stand up for 7 years now. I was 19 when I got started. Doing comedy wasn’t my original dream. I wanted to be a professional wrestler, but I have bad shoulders. I was going to get surgery and I was like well I have to do something while I’m in a cast for six months. I always loved stand up and I was always the one cracking jokes, making people laugh, but I never thought I could do it.
What was your first time on stage like?
First time was in summer 2006. There was a small open mike in San Diego in a warehouse they were calling a comedy club. Like an idiot I brought 10 of my friends to come watch because for some reason I thought I was going to do well my first time doing stand up. I got six minutes, it was weird. I got some laughs but they were in spaces I wasn’t expecting to get them. Overall I did poorly.
I did the open mic, bombed and that made me more interested in trying to do well at this thing — so much so that I got booked for a couple shows and I cancelled my surgery and I’m still walking around with banged up shoulders.
Do you have a job outside of comedy?
I still have a part-time job at a mechanic shop in San Diego. I do the books, I’m like the secretary. Hopefully in 2014 I’ll get enough gigs, especially after winning this contest, that I can move away from that.
A lot of your material is based on personal experiences, does that make it difficult to write new jokes?
It forces me to go live life, like when someone comes up and goes: “Hey, you wanna go salsa dancing?” I should say no. Everything in me says no, but something might come of that.
What’s next for you?
When I first got into the competition I had no idea what it could lead to. I’m going back to the Seattle Comedy Underground to headline there and there’s a few other clubs that I can break in to headline which is pretty good money for me.
I’m meeting with an agent next week in Los Angeles and I have a meeting with the lady that’s in charge of casting at Fox Television in January. These are the things I wasn’t expecting at all to come from the competition, but that’s what has come of it so far. It’s been really positive.
It gets you seen by the right people, which hasn’t happened yet in my seven years. This was the first real thing like that to happen for me.
You have a first name made for a sci-fi villain, do you get a lot of questions about it?
I was born in Budapest, Hungry. It’s a family name and I was named after my grandfather. (As a kid) it was an asset. I moved around a lot and it’s a good attention getter. It doesn’t really rhyme with anything, which made it playground safe.
Share a one liner?
This is a true story. After a show once, I got into an argument with a feminist over the gender of God. The feminist was trying to tell me God was a female and I was just trying to tell her not to speak unless she was spoken to.
8:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Comedy Underground along with Bob Bledsoe. Tickets are $12-15.
November 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM
The 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition began last night at the Columbia City Theater with 16 comedians each trying to win over the audience and the judges to advance to the next round. The night, hosted by Gabriel Rutledge, featured each comedian performing 7-minute sets.
First place went to Steve Hofstetter (Queens, NY), whose brutal take down of hecklers is well documented on Youtube.
“Don’t call me a ginger,” the redheaded Hofstetter warned the audience, “Only we can use that word, call me a “ginga” instead. It’s the “er” at the end of the G-word that is offensive.”
Seattle comedians Kortney Shane Williams and Parker Postyeni were awarded a tie for fifth place.
In his set Williams lambasted Yelp and people who rely on it for restaurant recommendations.
“Don’t trust Yelp reviews,” Williams said. “Yelp is something a dog does before it dies.”
The competition continues through Dec. 1 and a full schedule is available here.
Seattle International Comedy Competition Preliminary Week One-Night One Top 5 (+1) Results:
1st: Steve Hofstetter (Queens, NY)
2nd: Sam Demaris (Houston, TX)
3rd: Trenton Davis (Chicago, IL)
4th: Laura Hayden (Hermosa Beach, CA)
5th (tie): Kortney Shane Williams (Seattle, WA)
5th (tie): Parker Postyeni (Seattle, WA)
November 1, 2013 at 9:05 AM
When Seattle comedian Danielle Radford got the opportunity to open for Dave Chappelle at the Moore Theatre last month, the only thing on her mind was to avoid falling flat on her face. Radford, who’s been performing stand up for six years, not only managed to stay on her feet, but was able to get some big laughs — especially when she told an anecdotal story about attending a butterfly-themed wedding with a pastor who was dressed more like a pimp.
Radford is among 32 comedians entered in the Seattle International Comedy Competition, which runs Nov. 6 through Dec. 31. A full schedule with complete bios for all competitors is available here. Radford will perform on Nov. 6 at the Columbia City Theater in the preliminary week of the competition and was gracious enough to answer a few questions via email.
Name: Danielle Radford
Base of Operations: Seattle
Age: Same as Beyoncè
How did you get the chance to open for Dave Chappelle?
Radford: Live Nation contacted talent agent Ron Reid. He’s the go-to guy up here, and he recommended me. I got the call from him while I was walking up hill on the way home from work. We’ll just pretend the phone call was the only reason I was breathless.
What was it like to get laughs from that large of a crowd?
Radford: Making people laugh is the best feeling in the world, no matter the size of the crowd. Getting a giggle from one person is enough to make me light-headed and giddy, let alone thousands at once. All I could think when I left the stage was “don’t trip over your shoes, don’t trip over your shoes.”
How old were you when you decided you’d try comedy and what spawned that?
Radford: I was in my mid 20s. One of my roommates had been doing open mics, and he encouraged me to start. I’d just gone through a break up and hadn’t experienced enough rejection, I guess.
What was that first time on stage like?
Radford: I went onstage expecting to have to bribe the people in my life to never speak of it again, but I got a lot of laughs. The Sandman didn’t sweep me off the stage, so I went back the next night and every night after that.
Is comedy a full-time job and if not what do you do to pay the rent?
Radford: I used to be a paralegal full time, but it was really demanding work so I quit to focus on comedy. Now I work a part time job at a call center, which is the most boring sentence anyone has ever written.
Do you have a favorite spot or a certain night you prefer for performances and why?
Radford: I love any spot on any night if the people there are expecting comedy. A lot of times I’ll do a show somewhere and the crowd has NO idea it was going to happen. They all came out to get drunk, talk to their friends and watch the game and then, SURPRISE! STAND UP!
I love performing literally anywhere at anytime, so long as I don’t feel like I’m assaulting polite strangers with sudden spoken word.
What’s the best way to handle a heckler? Do you have a go-to response?
Radford: Hecklers aren’t that mean in Seattle; they just want to make it all about them. It’s best to shut them down quickly and move on.
Every dateless man who’s ever heckled me bought me a drink immediately following the show, which is a terrible plan. You can just buy me booze, dudes. No need to make me embarrass you in public first. Unless that’s what you’re into. In which case, there are websites for that, stop interrupting when mama’s talking.
Can you share a one liner?
Radford: My credit score is so low that it isn’t made of numbers, it’s just some dude who hits you in the face for asking.
Jeff Albertson: email@example.com
Trending with readers