Pro comedian Alycia Cooper took the evening’s top honor and is the newest addition to Ladies of Laughter! Shelly Colman emerged as the winner in the newcomer category while Katherine Williams and Liz Barrett claimed the runners-up spot in the Pro and Newcomer categories, respectively.
The Grand Finale was hosted by 2012 Pro winner Robin Fox, who was the centerpiece of the Ladies of Laughter talent on Monday. She has a really charming cut-the-crap attitude which she turns on herself and her family, chiding that her son “is a total moron, he wants to go to Rutgers which isn’t happening, unless they have a major in Xbox, Guitar Hero and sleeping. He’s going to Raritan Community College…Their slogan is ‘We’re the college for you when college isn’t for you.’” She perfectly outlines the suburban male’s dominance over the thermostat, explains the problems with terms “house wife” and “stay at home mom,” and recounts staving off her husband’s candlelight advances during Hurricane Sandy.
Colman, a longtime radio announcer at WFUV-FM and producer of Brooklyn Heights Comedy Nights, centered her set around a very good joke about her sex/sexual orientation/race. Her opening line consistently brings down the house.
Also competing in the newcomer category, Barrett was admitted to the finals in a Wild Card position. Her disdain and agita for generally everything is portrayed in a persona that is more drastic and unique than most comics with the “life is bleak” angle. College student Cara Daniello demonstrated a freakishly quick ability to spell words backwards, which is indicative of her quick wit in her audacious audience driven set. Ella Steinbeck morphed her French accent into a pretty impressive Brooklyn.
Pro comic Christine Hurley’s caustic recount of her family life in Boston makes no attempt to keep up with the Jones. Masking her vodka with Slimfast at the morning bus stop, her portrayal of her less than picture-perfect family rings of grit and shamelessness. Hurley will be seen on the 20th anniversary of Dennis Leary’s Comics Come Home on November 8 at TD Garden.
Williams mixed in some fresh additions to her semi-final set, joking that she’s with so many Jewish men she gets laid from right to left.
Cooper started strong by saying “They said Disneyland was the whitest place on Earth…” The laughs never let up. She had a fine tuned set about the differences between her as a child and kids today. “Running around like wolves, spoiled as hell, they will unplug their grandaddy’s oxygen tank to charge their cell phone.” This is a big week for Cooper who is opening for Whitney Cummings in Las Vegas.
Former winners in attendance included Leighann Lord, Chris Rich, Patty Rosborough and Regina DeCicco. The contest was judged by JP Abello, Director of Programming and Scheduling at WEtv, JoAnn Grigioni, Vice President of Talent at Comedy Central, and Chris Mazzilli, the owner of Gotham Comedy Club.
Cooper and Colman will be joining the Ladies of Laughter Funny and Fabulous Tour with bookings already through April 2015, and will be sharing close to $10,000 in gigs and prizes.
The 2014 Ladies of Laughter competition is executive produced by Peggy Boyce and sponsored by Stage Time Magazine, Skinnygirl Cocktails and Renee’s Readers.