We’re back on the comedy trail with SYTYF? - Karen Koren

So You Think You’re Funny? is Gilded Balloon’s stand-up comedy competition for newcomers that has been going since 1988.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 7:00 am
Aisling Bea, winner of Gilded Balloon's So You Think You're Funny? in 2012

Some of the best comedians working in the UK have taken part in the competition, they include Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Romesh Ranganathan, Dylan Moran, Sara Pasco, Jason Manford, Sarah Millican, Russell Kane, Alan Carr, Rob Beckett, Kevin Bridges, Greg Davies, John Bishop, Jack Whitehall, Russell Howard, Nish Kumar, Aisling Bea and so many more.

Last year we had to cancel the competition due to CoVid. The competition holds heats all over the UK between April and June. Over 400 contestants had entered and were due to fight it out to become some of the 60 semi-finalists that would have been invited to Edinburgh during August. They would then participate in 7 semi-final heats to find out who would go forward to the Grand Final which is on the last Thursday of the Fringe. Cancelling the whole competition last year was devastating and we tried to help the contestants by gathering videos of them and sending them to teams of experts to give them some encouragement of how to continue. As you can imagine it is incredibly difficult to perform stand-up online as there is not the same feedback as standing in front of a live audience.

We made the decision to do the Regional Heats on zoom for this year’s competition to give the contestants from last year a chance and the extra who have applied this year.

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Having received almost 450 applicants, Gilded Balloon will be hosting the Regional Heats in conjunction with venue partners around the UK. These shows started on 2nd May and they will be going on until the 23rd June. Each online show will feature 11 new acts or more and will be hosted by a professional comic. Venue partners will include Backyard Comedy, Angel Comedy at The Bill Murray, Cherry Comedy in Dublin, the Frog and Bucket, Laugh Train Home, Crack Comedy and many more. It is hoped that the final of the competition will be able to be live from its traditional home in The Debating Hall at Gilded Balloon’s Teviot in Edinburgh. The show will be live streamed by Nextup Comedy, a streaming service for Stand-up comedy online.

For people that like to find the next new name in comedy, it’s a must to tune in to our online zoom heats. Check it out on our website https://gildedballoon.co.uk