Yucks and the City
The merry month of May was a big month for Austin's mirthmasters, with not just one but three contests determining who among us can provoke the biggest laughs. On Friday, May 19, Esther's Follies announced the winners of its second annual Funnywriter Sketch Competition. Out of more than 70 entries, first prize and a $500 check went to Chris Trew of New Orleans comedy troupe ColdTowne, who have been calling Austin home since Katrina hit their hometown. Second prize was awarded to San Marcos resident Steve Uzzell, a veteran of the O. Henry Pun-Off, and third prize went to local improviser Jill Morris. Saturday, May 20, was the 29th O. Henry Pun-Off, with 32 "punslingers" firing off groaners. First Place in Punniest of Show went to slam poet Eirik Ott, aka Big Poppa E, who scored perfect 10s from all four judges, with a routine merging names of famous poets into a phone-sex conversation. The High Lies and Low Puns prize was taken by veteran punster and previous Pun-Off winner David Gugenheim. And the mmMVP Award went to Valerie Ward. Then on Monday, May 22, all this comic competing was capped at Cap City Comedy Club with the finals of the 21st Funniest Person in Austin Contest. The field this year was as crowded as it's ever been 73 comics, which required six weeks of preliminary rounds but that didn't faze Plano, Texas, escapee Doug Mellard, who scored the 2006 crown. Should he for any reason be unable to fulfill his FPIA duties, runner-up David Huntsberger will serve in his stead. And if he's bumped off, third place winner Lisa Delarios takes the title. Congratulations to all the winners.