Published : 2014-08-26 21:02
Updated : 2014-08-27 11:13
|Jonathan Burrello is among the comedians performing at the Seoul International Comedy Competition on Saturday. (Joshua Bush)|
"I got involved because it was another chance to talk into a microphone," he said.
"Personally I don't care for competitions, but I do hope it gets more people watching and laughing and it gets us all a chance to see our comedy brothers from other countries perform."
Another Korea-based performer, Enda Whitney, who describes himself as a colorful storyteller, was already involved in comedy when he came. He says he got into comedy in Dublin 5 1/2 years ago when he lost a bet, but what keeps him going is “the times when you get a room leaning in for your every word and laughing at all the right times and even times they’re not supposed to.”
“Those nights let you know you have something to offer and I catch myself not even noticing I’m on stage and being more relaxed than anywhere else,” he says.
“What keeps me going is to have that reaction and feeling each and every time I’m on stage because why would I ever stop doing something that allows you to feel like that while testing your skills and intelligence all the while?”
The competition will run in three stages, with each performer getting a short slot in the first round, five getting more stage time in the second and then performances from the final three.
The winners will be decided by audience ballot and decisions from a panel of judges made up of Stand Up Seoul comedians Wilfred Lee and Jeff Sinclair along with broadcaster Chance Dorland, who has done radio and podcast work with professional comedians such as Adam Carolla, Greg Fitzsimmons and Howard Stern.
While some might wonder about the home advantage, Wiberg says he is more concerned about the freshness of comics from elsewhere giving the visitors an edge.
“I have talked about that with the judges about how they might have an advantage, they will come in and make a comment about Korea and it will be a brand new look at a joke,” he says.
“A lot of the people from Korea are worried that the judges might know the jokes they are doing but you know I have talked to the judges and they understand that, because they have done comedy as well, so they will do their best to take that into account.”
The winner will walk away with 200,000 won ($195) in prize money, with second and third prizes being 100,000 won and a 50,000 won bar tab, respectively.
There will be a warm-up show at Osan Air Base near Songtan, Gyeonggi Province, on Friday.
The actual competition starts at 9:30 p.m. at the Bull and Barrel in Itaewon. Admission is 7,000 won.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org)