Tri City Joke Off

June 26, 2013 | Uncategorized

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Adam Kessler

Jokers comedy club in Richland, Wa. Is the home of the only true amateur comedy competition in the Northwest – The “Tri-City Joke Off”.   This year marks our 3rd annual competition.


The Joke Off started as a four week comedy add-on to our Wednesday night Karaoke.  We had about 6 amateurs try out and the finalist winner was Pasco native Adam Kessler.

During the next year we realized from our Open Mic comedy night at Jokers that new aspiring comedians could use a platform to try to break into comedy.  It’s very hard when you start out to get any paying gigs in front of a decent audience.  We defined “amateur comedian” as anyone who has never performed for money as a feature or headliner any more than 3 times.  We sent out flyers to open mics around the Northwest and had 2 qualifying rounds (one in Selah and one at Jokers in Richland), then had a semi-finals.  The top 5 amateur comics then competed in the finals which was hosted by Richland native and Über comic Brad Upton.  The 2012 Joke Off winner was Shawn Higgins.

This  year we streamlined the competition where the two qualifying weeks go straight to an 8 person finals on Wednesday night, June 26th.  Each finalist will do between 6 and 12 minutes on stage.  They are judged on material and stage presence and are penalized if they go over time.

This year’s finalists are

  • Cody Hatten
  • Jay Garrza
  • Brendan Kelley
  • Hans Kim
  • Evan Lechelt
  • Carl Shaw
  • Travis Nelson
  • Nick Dektor


The winner gets 3 paid feature spots at Jokers Comedy Club.  Brad Upton returns to host the event.  $5 at the door and the audience gets a vote.  Besides the audience, 3 judges will vote – 2 are comedy booking agents.  Tri-cities open mic facebook page






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