April 29, 2010

C.U. Comedy Team Wins Online Vote In TBS Competition

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The four-student Cornell team in the Third Annual RooftopComedy.com National College Comedy Competition prevailed in an online vote and moved on to the next “Ultimate 8 Selection Round” on Tuesday night in the competition presented by TBS. Half of the student comedy teams from 32 colleges across the nation were voted off in the Tuesday vote.

The National College Comedy Competition is “a nationwide talent search to find the funniest student stand-up comedians in the country,” according to Sara Linderman, the marketing director at RooftopComedy.com and the host of the competition.

There are five competitive rounds of elimination. The first three rounds are conducted online and the last two are held at the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival from June 10 to 13 in Aspen, Colo. During each round, the public votes for which teams will advance to the next round. Ultimately, the winning team attains the title of “America’s Funniest Comedy Team,” and four selected students will perform at the television show “TBS Presents a ‘Very Funny’ Festival: Just for Laughs.”

The competition is divided into geographic match-ups: Western, Eastern, Southern, and Midwest. In addition to Cornell, other participating colleges include Stanford University, Boston College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University. The types of comedic styles and skits varied across the teams in their online videos; some had stand-up, “roast,” improv, and “on-the-fly one-liners,” according to a press release from TBS.

The four students on the Cornell team, who defeated Syracuse University last week and who are advancing to the next round, are Cody Ernst ’12, Dan Kenkel ’10, Ryan Stanisz ’10 and Amanda Pawlak ’11.

Ernst said he had a strategy for selecting the jokes he used.

“I went through and picked four jokes that I thought would work and [I] told them in a way that each was threaded within a plot,” he said. “Doing stand-up is more about interaction between you and the audience. When you do skits you are trying to sell your character.”

Although the NCCC is his third comedy competition, Ernst said, “I’m really nervous up until the point when I get on the stage. After watching myself, I still look like I’m really nervous, but it’s fun while you’re there.”

Kenkel described how his past comedic experiences at Cornell have helped him with his performance. “[We’ve had] a big showcase once a semester for the past three semesters,” Kenkel said. “All of our past shows have been recorded, and so I just re-watched the videos and noted which one got the biggest laughs.”

Kenkel’s favorite kind of joke is “one-liners,” he said. “I don’t like beating around the joke. I’d rather get in and get out quick. With a one-liner, I can just focus on the punch line and craft the wording so that it’s most effective,” he said.

The next two rounds of online voting will be held from Apr. 29 to May 3 for the “Ultimate 8 Selection Round” and May 20 to May 24 for the “Funniest 4 Selection Round.” Videos of the Cornell team’s performances are online at http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/college/standup/schools/Cornell.

Original Author: Joey Anderson