Three Mikes and one Chris entered in contest – Chris won! by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL The first real snowfall of the season was just beginning to cover the ground last Thursday evening at 9:00 p.m. but inside the Corner Bar it was standing room only. The iconic downtown Rockford restaurant had been kind enough to host the Rockford Education Foundation’s (REF) 1st ever “Funniest Person in Rockford” contest and the laughs were about to commence. The REF was hoping to promote interest and ticket sales for this Friday and Saturday’s annual REF benefit concert. Sold-out for their one show in 2010, the Second City – Laugh Out Loud comedic troupe returns this year for an encore 2-evening appearance at the Rockford High School Fine Arts Auditorium. The prize for winning Thursday night’s “Funniest Person in Rockford” contest was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to appear onstage, for both evening performances, with Second City along with 4 tickets to the performance. The REF had selected four semi-finalists, all with connections to Rockford, from previously submitted videos, which were posted on the REF’s Facebook page, where fans could vote for their favorite. Appearing on a make shift stage in a corner booth of the Corner Bar, each of the wannabe comedians was afforded 10 minutes to win over a panel of distinguished judges. The judges, all Rockford residents, consisted of WZZM-TV13’s Catherine Behrendt, Corner Bar co-owner Andy Tidey, and Jim Kinney – a funny man himself in achieving fame for being voted class clown in high school. Each comedian, Mike Cole, Michael Newell, Mike Marn, and Chris Schneider, was introduced by the evening’s emcee Bob Wells, best known as the on-field between-innings host for the West Michigan Whitecaps. Wells, also a RHS math teacher, is a pretty funny guy himself and had the evening’s crowd well warmed up at the start of and between each of the contestants. Judging was based on humor, originality, and positive audience response. From our seat in the packed house, it seemed that the audience’s overwhelming response to Chris Schneider’s side splitting routine did the trick and the judges awarded him the title of the “Funniest Person in Rockford”. (Or maybe they were simply confused by the fact that 3 of the comedians […]
Funniest Person in Rockford
Laugh out loud tune-up to be held at Corner Bar by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Let’s embrace the “think local” attitude here. Instead of taking our monies outside of the Rockford community to attend “LaughFest” in Grand Rapids in March, why not support the good works of the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) and laugh your sides out right here at home in the cozy confines of the Rockford High School (RHS) Auditorium. When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, Second City, last appeared in Rockford in January 2010 it was a sell-out from the “git-go”. Appearing then to headline the annual REF benefit concert, Second City returns again for two evening performances of their “Laugh Out Loud Tour” on Friday and Saturday evenings, January 20 and 21. Thinking local, the REF is hosting “The Funniest Person in Rockford Contest” to be held this Thursday, January 12 at the Corner Bar in downtown Rockford. Four comedic finalists in the contest will face off for the opportunity to perform with Second City during their two upcoming evening performances in January. Mike Cole, Mike Marn, Michael Newell, and Chris Schneider will exhibit their comedy routines starting at 9:00 p.m. before a panel of local (celebrity) judges. What a hoot? Three Mikes and one Chris! The Corner Bar doors will open at 8:30 p.m. and reservations are being excepted by contacting Jen at the Corner Bar at: email@example.com or 616-866-9866. Seating is general admission with a $10 cover charge to benefit the REF and includes chips and salsa. Drink specials and Second City ticket give-a-ways all evening long. First come, first serve for the best seats. If you can’t make the Funniest Person in Rockford event at the Corner Bar this Thursday evening don’t let yourself get caught with egg on your face, as many did during the 2010 visit of Second City, when last minute ticket purchasers were met at the box office door with a big sold-out sign. There’s not a bad seat in the house at the RHS auditorium. A limited number of tickets are still available. Contact: The REF at 616-863-6317 or visit www.rockfordschools.org/ref.