This fall, Comedy Central is looking for the best new stand-up talent in the country including Boston by holding “Up Next” A CC: Certified Talent Search through the network’s Certified Clubs program. “Up Next” A CC: Certified Talent Search will consist of comedians performing in preliminary local showcases hosted by Johnny D’s Uptown in conjunction with Bill Blumenreich Presents and 25 other participating Certified Clubs from September 3-23. The preliminary showcase for Johnny D’s Uptown in Somerville will take place on September 6 and will be hosted by comedian Dan Boulger.
So without further ado, we are pleased to announce your Comedy Central “Up Next” preliminary round performers for Boston: Kyle Ploof, Tom Dustin, Ken Reid, Ray Harrington, Shaun Bedgood, Jenny Z, Mehran, Orlando Baxter, Josh Gondelman, and Danielle Soto. This was a collaborative effort with Comedy Central, The Wilbur and area insiders to come up with this bill of very worthy comics to represent Boston in the preliminary round!
Jonah Ray will be the MC for the four regional showcases with 30+ semi-finalists from October 9-23 as well as the finals featuring eight comedians to appear at The New York Comedy Festival’s annual “Comics to Watch” show on Wednesday, November 6 at Carolines on Broadway. The final round will be recorded to air on Comedy Central Radio on SiriusXM channel 95 and on cc.com/upnext.
The selection process for the comedians in the 26 preliminary local showcases and the four regional semi-final showcases is a collaborative effort between Comedy Central and promoter who will work closely together to identify the best new stand-up comedians.
There will be two winners chosen from each regional showcase (8 total) who will be flown to perform at The New York Comedy Festival’s annual “Comics to Watch” show on Wednesday, November 6. Each performance will be shot and recorded live to tape which will air on Comedy Central Radio on SiriusXM channel 95 and on cc.com/upnext during November 11-15. Fans will have the opportunity to vote for the “UP NEXT Fan’s Choice” on cc.com with the winner to be announced on Comedy Central in November 2013.
The grand prize winner will receive the following: a performance in an upcoming Comedy Central college tour; guest DJ on Comedy Central’s SiriusXM channel 95 (includes airing of their winning performance); inclusion on cc.com/standup and CC: Stand-Up App; a Comedy Central Records digital release; $2500 cash; and an appearance on a future Comedy Central stand-up series (TBD).
Jonah Ray co-hosts with comedian Kumail Nanjiani The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, which takes place in the back of Meltdown Comics on Sunset Blvd. In June, Comedy Central announced it has ordered the new stand-up series by the duo. Hosted by Ray and Nanjiani, each episode of “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail,” as developed for COMEDY CENTRAL, will feature some of the hottest stand-up comedians performing onstage and go behind-the-scenes with them as they hang out in the greenroom with a veritable who’s who from the comedy scene. In addition, Ray is one of Chris Hardwick's co-hosts of The Nerdist Podcast which airs on BBC America. His half-hour stand-up special, Comedy Central’s “The Half Hour” series aired in May 2013.
"Comics to Watch" is a show held annually by Comedy Central and The New York Comedy Festival at Carolines on Broadway which features a wide range of diversely talented young comedians. It was created to launch the careers of the next generation of comedians by putting them in front of industry executives and comedy fans. Comedians from past "Comics to Watch" shows such as Michael Che, Chris Distefano, Emily Heller, Ben Kronberg, Adam Newman, Kurt Braunohler and Sara Schaefer have gone on to making stand-up appearances on Comedy Central shows including “The Half Hour,” "John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show" and "CC Stand-Up Live” from The South Beach Comedy Festival.
Now in its tenth year, The New York Comedy Festival is produced by Carolines on Broadway in association with COMEDY CENTRAL. The festival has featured the country's top comedians, including Louis C.K., Bill Maher, Ricky Gervais, Dane Cook, Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari, and Wanda Sykes, to name a few. In 2007, the festival launched the “Stand-Up for Heroes” event to benefit The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has featured performances by Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Lewis Black, Ricky Gervais, Conan O'Brien, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer and Roger Waters.
In 2013, Comedy Central launched the “Comedy Central Certified Club” program which provides participating comedy clubs with the #1 brand in comedy’s certification and seal of approval, as well as many additional promotional initiatives. Through the exclusive initiative, the venues receive valuable, national promotion via Comedy Central’s linear and digital platforms, including the ability to offer “certified” live, stand-up shows and other Comedy Central-branded opportunities. Among the benefits, each participating club is promoted by Comedy Central via an ongoing series of programming stunts, commercials, national sweepstakes and included on comedycentral.com’s dedicated “Live Touring” section, which incorporates show listings with direct ticket-purchase links for the venues.
Please join me in congratulating your selected Boston comedians on being chosen to battle it out!