Celebrating its 40th year, the Seattle International Comedy Competition kicks off this week in Seattle. This multi-week touring competition gives audiences around the Puget Sound a chance to see stellar comedic talent. The current SICC Champion is New Hampshire native Drew Dunn. This year’s comedians come from Scotland, Canada, Saipan, and someplace called Federal Way.
The SICC begins with 32 comedians, split into two groups, competing in two preliminary weeks. Auburn is the second night in the first preliminary week, and night four in preliminary week two. The top five comedians from each preliminary week move on to the semi-finals.
Each semifinalist wins some cash and gets to compete as a finalist. Five shows later and the top five finalists are determined. The finalists are given a two-day break before a run of five shows (with a Thanksgiving break) to determine the new SICC champion. The final show is December 1st at the Comedy Underground in Seattle.
The SICC sells out, so get your tickets in advance! (purchase online here) But please remember, don’t heckle the comedians. It ruins the show for everyone else and just makes you look dumb.
Week One Comedians
1. BIRUNGI BIRUNGI (Seattle, WA)
Birungi Birungi is a Ugandan comedian based out of Seattle, WA. Although he Initially moved to America for college, he quickly found a different way to fall into debt – stand up comedy! Within 5 years of performing, he has hit stages in multiple cities including Portland, Denver, Boston, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. He was featured on the “Best of the Fest” list at the Burbank Comedy Festival 2018. Earlier this year, he opened for DL Hughley in Seattle.
2. CHU BU (New Orleans, LA)
Chu Bu is an Oklahoma-born, New Orleans-bred writer, comedian and content creator. She first hit the stage in Los Angeles and has continued to perform in venues across the US and overseas including Dublin, Ireland and most recently a series of Spanish language performances in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was featured in the 2018 and 2019 Black Girls Giggles Comedy Festival and is a winner of The Battle of the Axe comedy competition.
3. JONATHAN CERDA-ROWELL (Los Angeles, CA)
Jonathan Cerda-Rowell is a stand-up comedian and writer whose comedy has been featured in Out on Stage: The Movie (Comedy Dynamics/Amazon), and he has worked as a writer for Billy on the Street (truTV), Roast Battle (Comedy Central), and online Latinx media channel We Are MiTú. He has performed at numerous festivals across the country including S.F. Sketch Fest, Limestone Comedy Festival, and was one of the “Comics to Watch” at RIOT L.A. Jonathan was also a runner-up at the Roast Battle Tournament at The World Famous Comedy Store. Cerda-Rowell can be seen performing every single night all over Los Angeles. His podcast and web show Living with Jonathan & Katy is available on Spotify and YouTube.
4. LEE COX (Portland, OR)
Lee Cox is a depressed redhead working in a psychiatric facility in Portland, Oregon. His dry, dark style has allowed him to open for national headliners Tig Notaro and Kyle Kinane and has ruined many first dates. Deadpan and introspective, Lee presents his bisexuality and love of crows with subtlety and an open heart. Lee was a semifinalist in 2019 Portland’s Funniest Person Competition and looks forward to being a semifinalist in many competitions to come.
5. MIKE DEVORE (Seattle, WA)
Mike Devore is a mix of warmth with high-energy, pedal-to-the-floor delivery. His friendly intensity pairs well with his self-deprecating perspective. Mike has recently performed at the 2019 North Carolina Comedy Festival, 2019 Sioux Falls Sno Jam Comedy Festival, and has written for “Tonight In San Diego.”
6. ANDREW FRANK (Seattle, WA)
Andrew Frank is a comedian based out of Seattle. He started writing and performing stand up at the age of 14 and has relentlessly toured the United States, Canada, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Vienna, Czech Republic, Bratislava, and Estonia over the course of his career. He was named one of the “Best Undiscovered Comedians in America” by Thrillist Magazine, and has just recently completed a 25 show run of his hour entitled Andrew Frank: Cognitive Goof at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
7. LIZ GLAZER (Los Angeles, CA)
Liz Glazer is a comedian from New York who currently lives in Los Angeles. Liz will appear soon on OutTV and features frequently for 2006 SICC finalist Myq Kaplan! Before doing comedy Liz was a tenured law professor, a job she was very funny at.
8. CHERI HARDMAN (Federal Way, WA)
Cheri Hardman is a plus sized, middle aged babe from Federal Way who started comedy at the tender age of 54. She’s sassy and bold with a hint of bawdy. Cheri is the 2019 winner of Tacoma Comedy Club’s, “The Comedy Voice” and The Spokane Valley Comedy Competition. She has performed in The Burbank Comedy Festival and Las Vegas Burlesque Festival.
9. NATALIE HOLT (Seattle, WA)
Natalie Holt started her career in Seattle, but attributes her warped worldview to a childhood spent crisping in the Florida sun. She’s performed all across our somewhat-great nation, including Bumbershoot, the Asheville Comedy Festival, and 10,000 Laughs. She has studied at The Second City and at no other point in her life.
10. RACHEL LAURENDEAU (Tacoma, WA)
Rachel Laurendeau is a comedian hailing from Tacoma, Washington. She dedicates her days to working with children and her evenings to working on jokes. In her time in comedy, she’s worked with favorites such as Greg Proops, Nikki Glaser, Drew Lynch, and Gary Gulman. She’s produced comedy shows in Pierce and Kitsap county and performed all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
11. NANCY NORTON (Denver, CO)
Nancy Norton is the 2018 Winner of the Boston Comedy Festival and the only woman to win that festival since it began 20 years ago. After taking several years off the road to raise her son, she is back doing comedy fulltime and headlining clubs and events around the country. Nancy has been a regular at the Denver Comedy Works since 1992. She comes to us from Colorado, but you will enjoy more than a hint of her upbringing in the Ozarks in Missouri. Norton made her TV debut very early in her career performing on “An Evening at the Improv” on A&E, and Nickelodeon’s “Nickmom Night Out.” These shows are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
12. NIKITA OSTER (Seattle, WA)
Nikita Oster insists he is very funny. He has lived in Russia, Cambodia, Ukraine and the Netherlands and did not feel at home anywhere, until he met you. Nikita performs his comedy all over the stage, spreading joy through melancholy and absurdism wherever he goes. He has worked with Andy Kindler, Mark Normand, Jon Dore and has a recurring dream about touring with Stewart Lee. Nikita is a semifinalist of this year’s StandUp NBC, he also took first place out of 64 Seattle comics in the 2018 Comedy on Trial – a very important competition that you have definitely heard of.
13. ANDREW PACKER (Vancouver, BC)
Andrew Packer is a Vancouver (Canada), based stand-up comedian, and the creator of JNT Comedy, Canada’s #1 marijuana themed comedy tour, running comedy show from coast to coast. This past year Andrew performed in the JFL 42 Festival in Toronto, the JFL Northwest Festival in Vancouver and this August he made his debut at the world famous Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Andrew has worked alongside established acts such as Pablo Francisco, Brendan Schaub, and Sam Tripoli.
Check out the Joker Broker Podcast where Andrew explores the theory of stand up comedy and insurance with good friend and insurance broker Sam Jazayeri (available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher).
14. ADAM PASI (Portland, OR)
Adam Pasi is loud, funny, and afraid of dolls.
15. ARIJANA RAMIC (Bellevue, WA)
Arijana Ramic was born and raised in the Seattle area to Bosnian immigrants. Her mother has said of her work “I don’t like how vulgar you are onstage.” She has done stand-up for over four years and in that time has opened for the likes of Jak Knight, Jenny Zigrino, and Langston Kerman. In 2016, she was the runner up for Seattle Weekly’s Best Comedian.
16. BENJI ROTHMAN (Winnipeg, MB)
Benji Rothman’s alternative and interactive comedy has been on display all over his home country of Canada and the world. He was a semi-finalist at Sirius XM Canada’s Top Comic, he’s performed at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Oddblock Comedy Festival and toured all across Canada. He’s also toured Australia and New Zealand as part of the Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival (real thing, swear) and is a writer for the Australian talk show Mainland Tonight. He’s fresh off a 4-week tour of the UK and is very excited to make the Seattle International Comedy Competition his next stop.
The week two comedians are: Donald Alexander, Wally Baram, JJ Barrows, Diya Basrai, Mona Concepcion, Jeremiah Coughlan, Matt Eriksen, Genevieve Ferrari, Brian Glowacki, James Hancock III, Yoni Heisler, Casey McLain, Elaina McMillan, Jessica Pigeau, Andrew Rivers and Sonya Vai