If laughter is the best medicine, then a night of comedy might just be what the doctor ordered during a serious year.
On Saturday, the Savannah Comedy Revue is set to host its 11th annual Comic Battle, bringing comedians from the around the country to the Hostess City.
Participants will bring their best routines and hilarious quips as they battle for laughs and up to $1,000 in prizes. Organizers say tickets are going fast for the side-splitting event which will be held at the Bay Street Theatre, located at the corner of Bay and Jefferson streets downtown.
Savannah Comedy Revue founder Thomas Paris says the comedic contest regularly draws talented up-and-coming comics from throughout the region and those looking for the next big thing.
"We have judges of talent scouts from other comedy clubs; we have producers, talent agents," Paris shared.
"Comics come from all over to battle for the funny and the money - and we also encourage locals to participate."
Paris launched the contest 11 years ago to create an outlet for comics to share their material and get in front of industry insiders who could help elevate their careers.
He says comedy is a critical way to relieve stress and come together, something that is needed more than ever during an unprecedented year. "Comedy is very important," Paris added.
"It’s the best way to get away from all the problems and stress and woes of COVID — laugher is the best medicine."
It has been a challenging year for performers, including comics, amid the coronavirus outbreak, Paris admitted. Many performances were shutdown at the outset of the pandemic, and performers and venues alike had to find new and creative ways to reach audiences.
Restrictions have been lifting as businesses begin to once again operate with new safety protocols in place. Paris says the Savannah Comedy Revue is doing its part as well to keep audiences safe during their shows.
"COVID-19 has affected all theater performances," Paris noted. "We are limited in seating to keep everyone safe and distanced – so we do more with less as we get great reviews about the Revue."
With as much as a thousand dollars on the line, and the hope for industry exposure for many aspiring and working comedians, the Savannah Comedy Revue’s event should bring a spirited night of comedic battle.
Paris says what makes a good comic most successful, is having something unique to offer, while being able to relate to the audience.
"Stage presence, confidence, and original stories or jokes we all can relate to," Paris shared.
"And most of all: funny, funny, funny."