There’s a battle brewing in Boston, and it’s not between the Red Sox and Yankees – or any sports team, for that matter. On Friday, September 6, ten insanely talented comedians from New England will take the stage at Somerville’s Johnny D’s to duke it out to become one of two Boston semifinalists to compete in Comedy Central’s “Up Next” nationwide talent search. While preliminary rounds will take place in twenty-five additional cities, the pressure is on to show Comedy Central that Boston remains one of the best incubators of comedic talent this country has ever seen.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill comedy contest, either. Each contestant was hand-selected through a collaborative effort between Comedy Central and local promoters to ensure that the best undiscovered talent would be represented – and Boston is certainly bringing its A-game. Comedians Kyle Ploof, Tom Dustin, Ken Reid, Ray Harrington, Shaun Bedgood, Jenny Z, Mehran, Orlando Baxter, Josh Gondelman, and Danielle Soto have been chosen to compete for two semifinalist spots (one semifinalist selected by the judges, and a ‘wild card’ semifinalist from each round to be selected by Comedy Central).
It’s refreshing not only to see such comedic talent recognized on a national level, but Boston has the added advantage of being the most ‘feel good’ lineup of all preliminary rounds. Each comedian selected has historically donated their time and efforts to many local causes, including the Greater Boston Comedy Relay, which between 2010 and 2012 raised much-needed funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life program in New England.
The two Boston comedians who move on from this Friday’s preliminary round will go on to compete in one of four regional showcases. Two winners will be 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).
What can you do to help your favorite comedians advance? Be there on Friday, September 6 at Johnny D’s in Somerville for an unforgettable night of hilarity and show your support for comedians who have had you in stitches for years. Tickets for Comedy Central's Up Next Talent Search Preliminary Round at Johnny D’s are only $15 – get yours now before they’re gone!
Johnny D's is located at 17 Holland Street in Somerville, Massachusetts.