Rumor's has it, comedy can be your new day job

Advertising poster for Winnipeg's Funniest Person with a Day Job
Photo Credit: Rumor's Comedy Club

Winnipeggers are braving stage fright and competing for the coveted title of Winnipeg’s Funniest Person with a Day Job.

The competition takes place Tuesday, November 3, 3009 to Monday November 9, 2009 at Rumor’s Restaurant and Comedy Club. The event usually takes place in spring and summer but a flood in the restaurant postponed this year’s competition.

It began about 20 years ago as a video contest.

“It was so hard to get people to go on stage so we had to go to their place of business and videotape them,” says Ross Rumberg, managing partner of Rumor’s. But through the years the competition finally made its way to the stage. “With the advent of reality television in the last several years, now, it’s no problem at all to get people to go onstage.”

18-year-old Nathan Costa, McDonald’s Restaurant employee,is one of the younger competitors this year. It’s his first run at the event and he’s excited about being able to step on a stage graced by comics like Russell Peters and Brent Butt. “It’s flabbergasting. It’s really exciting and an honour to be on that stage.”

The competition includes preliminary, semi-finals and final rounds. In order to keep the judging fair and reliable, the panel includes:

  • Media professionals

  • Local comedy headliners

  • Former winners

  • Present or former Rumor’s staff

The grand prize is the title of Winnipeg's Funniest Person with a Day Job and an all-expenses paid trip to Edmonton to perform at The Comic Strip.

Rumberg believes it’s more than just bragging rights and free swag, it’s also about opportunity. “Stand-up comedy is something a lot of people want to attempt. It’s very difficult to get stage time and it’s very difficult to get an audience. We can provide both.”

Winning isn’t everything. Rumor’s has hired a few past “losing” contestants for hosting jobs. “So in addition to the prize there’s the possibility of a career.”

In Costa’s case it’ll be a way to boost his acting career. “It helps build the self-confidence you need to be in front of a camera and in front of an audience.” He also believes the event helps Winnipeg comedians. “They need more recognition. It’s kind of a way of showcasing the funny comics from Winnipeg and I think that’s very important.”

Cara Lytwyn, the 2008 winner, was the first woman to win the competition and has gone on in the comedy world. Already in 2009 she’s had several gigs, one of the most recent being the Red River College’s annual Comedy Night, at the King’s Head and Winnipeg’s Wackiest Comedian competition, which she won.

Tickets for Winnipeg's Funniest Person with a Day Job are $12 and are available at Rumor’s Restaurant and Comedy Club.

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Janet Adamana of Red River College

  • 51 years old
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • User since Nov 2nd 2009, 08:52