Find your funny bone with the San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy Competition | TheUnion.com
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Find your funny bone with the San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy Competition

“Even if you can’t spell Karen Rontowski, you’d better remember it, because she is great!”

– David Brenner

Hundreds of comedians audition each year to compete in the Annual San Francisco International Stand-Up Comedy Competition.



Only 30 are chosen. You’ll have a chance to see about a dozen of them at this preliminary round of the competition. These contestants aren’t newbies; they’re hot, comedy-club headliners who bring audiences nationwide to tears. Now, they’ll pull out all the stops trying for a future in TV and film.

Past contestants include Dane Cook, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres and Robin Williams. 1977 Comedy Champ Dana Carvey went on to Saturday Night Live. Marsha Warfield won in 1979, then starred as everyone’s favorite Night Court bailiff. Two first runners-up, Ellen DeGeneres and Mark Curry landed their own TV series. 1993 Crown Prince Patton Oswalt kept the laughs going on the King of Queens.




The performers come from far and wide, hoping to gain the kind of notoriety that can open doors in Hollywood and a share of $25,000 in prize money. Performers will be judged in the areas of delivery, material, stage presence, technique and audience response.

This year’s performers include host Karen Rontowski, Daniel Carroll, Lizzy Pilcher, Sammy Obeid and Chris Bennett.

Commediane Karen Rontowski’s upbeat, optimistic and clean sense of humor has earned her headlining spots all over the world. She has also opened for such show biz legends as Bob Hope, Ray Charles and the Monkees. She’s performed in 45 of the 50 states, Canada, Japan, Greenland and all over Europe. A television favorite, you may have seen this hilarious woman on Comedy Central, Live at Gotham and Comics Unleashed. A regular on the Bob and Tom Radio Show, Karen keeps listeners laughing not only with her standup, but also when she talks about her other career as a paranormal investigator.

Recently seen performing in the encore production of David Brenner’s “What’s so funny?” and the TBS Comedy Festival, Karen just completed the television pilot Karen’s Supernatural Junkyard in which she spearheads hilarious adventures into supernatural investigations.

Rontowski can also be seen in the movie shorts “Return to Sender” and “Some Kind of Joke.”


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