Who is the funniest guy you know? If you said Hari Gopal, Jamie Ward, David Jaffe or Matty Litwack, then TBS thinks so, too. These are Georgia Tech’s four finalists in TBS’s Rooftop Comedy College Tour, a nationwide search for the funniest stand-up comedian in college.
The process to decide on these four started with an open call for stand-up acts at Georgia Tech. Sixteen students competed at Tech Rec with a three minute slot to give the audience their funniest performance. The audience then voted on their top three favorite performances and the top eight went on to compete against Emory’s top eight at the Vortex’s Laughing Skull Lounge. The competition at Laughing Skull was similarly formatted with each comedian allowed three minutes in front of the audience. The only difference was this time both Emory and Georgia Tech students competed and the acts were voted on not just by the audience but also by a panel of judges.
The Laughing Skull lounge is a small, intimate space and with it being so relatively close to Tech’s campus the crammed audience was overwhelmingly in support of the Georgia Tech comedians. While most of the comedians stuck to their same routine from the initial competition at Georgia Tech, some changed their set completely and judging by the audience reactions, for the better. Between jokes about thermodynamics and babies drinking beer, the show was hosted by local comedian Andy Sandford. Sandford, recently named by Creative Loafing as Atlanta’s Best Local Comedian, kept the event rolling and audience laughing between student performances and the dreaded “keep the audience interested while we tally the votes” period at the end of the show.
While with every competition there will be those who triumph and those that do not, every student put on a great act and when it came time to vote each team down to four it was not an easy decision. As the competitors waited back stage the mood was tense, but the atmosphere was not what you would expect, “Everyone back stage was real supportive. Comedians know what it is like to bomb and succeed backstage. Everyone congratulated you backstage.” said Hari Gopal, one of Georgia Tech’s four finalists.
After a brief tallying of votes and with the judges input four students from each team were selected to move on. Representing Georgia Tech were the aforementioned Gopal, Ward, Jaffe and Litwack. The finalists from Emory were Ben Kassoy, David Micley, Tom Quigley, Sarah Wallace.
Once the finalists were announced the top four comedians chosen from each school will go into an online bracket where 32 schools compete against each other. Users on TBS’s website can vote on which school they think is funnier and the team that wins moves on to face another school. The final four schools then will compete and the winning school will be decided completely by a panel of judges. The best comedian from these four schools is also decided by a panel of judges and the winning student gets a trip to Chicago to perform onstage in front of a live audience.
Regardless if our team makes it on to the next round, voting for the first round will be over by the time this edition prints, all of our comedians should be commended for showing the Atlanta community that Georgia Tech is full of more than just a bunch of nerds, some of us are funny too.