Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Competing for Chuckles at Level 2

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Humor | September 14th, 2016

It’s kind of funny how things can come full circle, especially when it involves a comedy club. Around this same time last year I covered Adam Quesnell’s going-away show at the grand opening of the Level 2 Comedy Club at the Radisson. Now I found myself interviewing Zachary Tooker, the manager of the club, about the very first North Dakota Comedy Contest to be held there.

“I’m honestly not sure North Dakota has another comedy contest,” said Tooker, so it may be a first for the state as well as the club. That’s not to say that North Dakota doesn’t have a burgeoning comedy scene, but that until this point no one has put together a contest to bring together the state’s best talent.

“North Dakota is already a funny place,” said Tooker. It only makes sense to have a contest that raises awareness, not just for the club he manages but for the area comedy scene as a whole, especially as the club kicks off its busiest season.

He pointed out that there are twenty to thirty open-mic comedians that frequent open-mic events each week around the F-M area. Their efforts have paved the way for new people, who may have never considered trying stand-up, to venture into a new field. “You see lots of new faces who have never done comedy before, theatre students and such. It’s a grab-bag.”

Tooker also insisted that the F-M comedy community is different than in other cities. “It reflects on the community. It’s a strong community in general, really salt-of-the-earth.”

However, he pointed out, while many of the people who show up to comedy events in the area are “blue collar” types, the comedians are usually the exact opposite, despite having grown up in the same area, oftentimes very politically and socially liberal. This contrast creates an interesting tension between the comedians and the audience that rarely, however, results in bad blood. “The comedians know not to be divisive.”

If anything, this friendly butting of heads on certain issues leads to a fascinating dynamic where the comedians and audience can learn a thing or two from each other.

One thing that comedy excels at is pointing out the absurdities in our daily lives, which can create room for growth. “You get people to laugh at themselves but also to think. Because you can laugh it’s a rewarding education, an entertaining lecture,” said Tooker.

The contest itself, which is sponsored by the High Plains Reader, the Radisson, and Level 2, will take place on two Fridays, the 16th and the 23rd. On the first night of the competition, dozens of comedians will be narrowed down to five finalists. The next Friday will see the remaining five battling for comedic supremacy and a $500 grand prize.

There will also be a nationally recognized professional headliner, A. J. Finney, who has appeared on “Last Comic Standing” as well as regularly performing comedy on Sirius XM satellite radio.

After the contest, Level 2’s comedy season kicks off good and proper, with open mics every Friday and Saturday at 7 PM and 9:30 PM. Hopefully this contest is only the first of many, so that not only will this area of the country be known for North Dakota nice, but also for Fargo funny.

IF YOU GO

North Dakota Comedy Contest Friday, September 16 and 23, 7pm Level 2 Comedy Club, Radisson Hotel, First night cover $5, Second night cover $15

RECENTLY IN

Humor

Tracker Pixel for Entry Aaland Law Firm

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The Dakota Access Pipeline developer agreed to plant trees to reach a settlement over two misconduct allegations while constructing the pipeline on Wednesday. A total of 20,000 trees are to be planted by December 31,…

photo by Meg Luther Lindholm.Ibtissem (pronounced Ib-tiss-em) Belmihoub is both enjoying her time in Fargo as a doctoral student in Rhetoric, Writing and Culture at NDSU and a community volunteer. She is currently the Project…

Wed-Fri, September 27-29, 8pm; Sat-Sun, 2pmComstock Theatre, Concordia College, 901 8th St S, MoorheadIt is October, 1517, at Wittenberg University in northern Germany, where students and faculty begin another academic year. A…

Our opinion: We’re more than the sum of our partsOver the weekend I was telling a friend of mine that one of the most valuable things a person can gain in life is perspective. My time at the High Plains Reader has gifted me just…

What kind of characters would charge $99 for a case of water?In the days before the solar eclipse safety glasses sold for $8.95 for a five-pack of certified glasses. The day before the eclipse the price was raised to $59. During…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Brand new and satisfying in so many waysI ventured into Tru Blu on Sunday at noon. As soon as I entered I was immediately astonished by the interior. It’s gorgeous! The brown tufted booths and dark wood give the impression that…

Fall is arriving, and that of course means that the new season of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks” series sponsored by Sanford Health is right around the corner.In the last couple concert seasons they…

Rom-coms are a staple of modern movies and have been for well over a century. This summer two very different variations on the genre spotlighting iconic 20th-century superstars made their Blu-ray debuts from Kino-Lorber. One is a…

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This nonprofit organization described their mission as “To identify students with their exceptional artistic and literary talent and…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Up here where it’s north of normal, we can pretty much count on our first cold snap to hit right about now, and the 90 degree day we JUST HAD seems like a distant memory. Goodbye pool parties, BBQs and the patio hang sesh. Hello…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Robert Franklin, Esq.parents@nationalparentsorganization.orgIn North Dakota, a child’s chances of spending meaningful time with each parent following divorce have less to do with his parents than what county they divorce…