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Archive for November, 2011

Finish the Joke Contest

Last week Acme celebrated it’s 20th Year Anniversary Celebration with shows Tuesday through Saturday. Thirty-six comedians in all. Twenty of them headliners. The week was capped off by a party Sunday night. Although I would’ve loved being part of one of those shows, it was cool to hang out for some of them and an honor to attend the party on Sunday night. Louis Lee, the owner of Acme, believes in doing things right. That’s how he’s built such a great comedy club. The party was a fancy catered affair held next door at Guthrie Lab Theater. Great party. Amazing space. Super group of people.

After the dinner party, I was invited to an after-party back at the club. Because I had a long drive home, I planned to stop in for one cup of coffee and hit the road. I did manage to stay sober, but I ended up staying until 3 AM. There were lots of old friends to catch up with like Costaki Economopolous, Tim Bedore, Pete Lee, Dwight Slade, Ryan Hamilton, Jackie Kashian, David Crowe, Tracy Ashley, John DeBoer, Kermit Apio, Tim Slagle, David Fulton, Chad Daniels… to drop a few names.

Besides being great to see everybody, I remained at the late-night party until the end because somehow I got talked into telling a few jokes to the crowd assembled at the bar. A comic is not going to leave the party when asked to do that. Although my audience was small and I was initially reluctant (especially being sober), I’m sure it’s one of those comedy stories I’ll cherish forever.

The story goes something like this. The hour was late and I was about to leave when a little drinking game broke out. It started with Chad Daniels doing an impression of me. Somehow that evolved into a game of Finish the Dwight York Joke. I’d deliver one of my set-ups; a point was scored by the comic who provided the punchline. David Huntsberger assumed the role of game show host. The rules were ambiguous and made up as we went along. Shots were involved. John DeBoer and David Crowe took their turn in the “set-up the joke hot-seat.” I came back in at the end for the tie-breaker. I don’t remember if anybody won.

I doubt the inebriated contestants playing this game have the same fond memories as me, but I shall not forget the experience. I’d been watching comics tear it up on stage all week. As the big celebration reached it’s last dying breathe, I finally had my shot to add some comedy to the big event. Whether someone else finished the joke or whether I delivered the punchline myself, most times my old bits got laughs. My jokes getting laughs from that group of great comics made me feel better than killing on stage on a Saturday night. Thanks Acme. You were great!

Dwight Slade, Tracey Ashley, Ryan Hamilton, Ryan Stout, me (incognito), Pete Lee

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