Come and see the comedians of tomorrow - Karen Koren
My daughter Katy has been in London over the last month watching over 40 showcases of new comedians.
So You Think You’re Funny has been the original and best stand-up comedy competition in the UK since 1988. There are so many successful comics who have taken part over the years from Peter Kay, Johnny Vegas, Lee Mack, Alan Carr, Rhod Gilbert, Russell Howard, Romesh Ranganathan, Rob Beckett, Sarah Millican, Aisling Bea, Maisie Adam, Tom Allen and so many more.
This year there have been over 500 applicants and it is up to Katy and Julia Chamberlain, the co-producer, to pick 56 new participants to go through to the semi-final Heats in August at the Gilded Balloon.
There is a strict criteria that the contestants must follow, they are only allowed to have worked in comedy within the last 12 months, either professionally or as an absolute beginner.
They are all incredibly new. It’s a pretty hard task to watch comedians do seven minutes of their very best material and discover their true potential. Many of these comics have a long way to go and many are remarkably good. It’s all about the content of their set, it needs imagination, wit, comic timing and originality.
Since I started the Gilded Balloon I have seen literally hundreds of new comedians and it has been an absolute treat to have seen some of Britain’s best comedians who have gone on to become household names.
Lee Mack said: “From the bottom of my heart, nothing has been as exciting as that moment when they said, ‘The winner is Lee Mack’. In terms of excitement, that was the pinnacle of my career.”
Rhod Gilbert said: “SYTYF was the first competition I entered. I’d been doing stand up for about six months. Getting to the final was probably the most exciting moment of my life. It was the moment when I thought, ‘I’m not as bad at this as I thought’.”
Come along and see the new comedians of tomorrow.