Comics to compete at annual Wiley’s Fireworks competition

Mike Canestaro performs at Wiley's Comedy Club. CONTRIBUTED

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Mike Canestaro performs at Wiley's Comedy Club. CONTRIBUTED

Comics from across the country will travel to Wiley’s Comedy Club this weekend to compete in the annual Fireworks competition for the chance to win bragging rights and $1,000.

The preliminary rounds are Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25 at 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. each night. All comedians will get five minutes to make the audience laugh. The first-round winners are based solely on audience votes. Fifty-four comics are signed up to perform this year.

“Each year we have more and more people from out of town who want to perform on the Wiley’s stage,” said Karen Jaffe, contest organizer. “This year we have more pros signing up too.”

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Karen Jaffe performs at Wiley's Comedy Club. CONTRIBUTED

Karen Jaffe performs at Wiley's Comedy Club. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Karen Jaffe performs at Wiley's Comedy Club. CONTRIBUTED

Last year’s winner was Marty Malloy of Cleveland. Ira Summer of Oakland, California came in second place. Ian Miller of Columbus placed third.

The weekend, which will feature comics of various skill levels, can be stressful for some who make it to the finals. The finals are based on audience vote and also by a panel of judges who are also comedians. Jaffe believes the contest is not just about winning the top prize.

“I like that it challenges the comics to bring their absolute best five-minute sets, and despite the competition, all the contestants are rooting for each other’s sets,” she said.

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Each preliminary show will be headlined by various comedians. While they perform the votes will be tallied. Three comics will move on from each show to the finals. The audience is sure to laugh as well as be a part of the contest.

“People who enjoy comedy will see all kinds of different styles,” Jaffe said. “All the comics (are) trying to impress. It’s also great if you like to be a part of the voting process.”

Tickets are on sale for the shows. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday shows are $10. Tickets for the final show on Sunday are $15. These shows tend to sell out, so purchase tickets as soon as possible by calling 937-224-JOKE (5653) or go online to www.wileyscomedy.com.

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“I hope everyone has a great time, the comics come away with new friendships, and at least one audience member decides they want to maybe try doing stand-up themselves,” Jaffe said.

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