Known for launching such comedy greats as Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, and Ellen DeGeneres, the annual San Francisco Comedy Competition fields approximately three dozen comedians judged over multiple weeks in multiple venues across the Bay Area and beyond. The Bankhead Theater has become a regular stop on the competition’s circuit and will host one of six semifinal rounds on Friday, September 20. A night of great laughs with comedy stars of the future, the semifinals are just one of a half-dozen comedy events lined up for this season at the venue. Colin Mochrie, Rita Rudner, Christopher Titus, The Second City, and Capitol Steps will all provide Bankhead audiences with a laughter-filled escape from the realities of daily life in the coming months.
Achieving success in stand-up comedy is always challenging, and the fast-paced format of The San Francisco Comedy Competition does not make it easy. From hundreds of applicants, approximately thirty comedians are chosen to perform in the preliminary weeks. From those, only ten comedians proceed to the semi-finals and just five to the final rounds. Originally founded and held in San Francisco, the competition’s events are now spread across the greater Bay Area in venues from bars and clubs to theaters of all sizes. Semifinals have been held at the Bankhead each September since 2015.
On Friday, October 4, Colin Mochrie of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will join hypnotist Asad Mecci in HYPROV, a hilarious and unexpected mash-up of their unique talents for zany improv and powerful hypnosis. With 20 random volunteers from the audience, these two masters create a unique, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, side-splitting show that merges two art forms that have captured the minds and imaginations for decades.
The following week, Combustion Live presents Christopher Titus, star of the FOX show “Titus,” will bring his style of “hard fun” to the Bankhead on October 13. Known for leaving no stone unturned, especially within his own life and family, Titus takes audiences on a 90-minute hilarious journey in his show, “Stories I Shouldn’t Tell,” which has been selling out venues across the country.
Rita Rudner returns with her epigrammatic style, soft-spoken humor, and quick one-liners on Friday, October 18. Her charming delivery and non-stop, witty observations on modern life, tackling everything from relationships and family to the importance of cleaning ladies, has earned her a loyal fan following. Rudner holds the title for the longest-running solo comedy show in Las Vegas history, where she has held court for more than 18 years.
Next March, the Bankhead will again host The Second City, when they return with their show “Laughing for all the Wrong Reasons.” Breaking all the comedy rules they made famous, this all-new, all-hilarious revue challenges audiences to revisit “everything you thought you knew about what’s funny.” Finally, The Capitol Steps makes their annual visit with “The Lyin’ Kings,” as the country heads into an election season that seems ideally designed for the Washington DC-based group’s hilarious, razor-sharp political satire. Tickets are already selling fast for what is likely to be a sold-out event on Friday, May 1, 2020.
Contact the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center for more information!