Amateur Comedian Upsets Hudson Valley Funniest Person Contest
An amateur comedian with no experience on stage shocked a packed crowd on Saturday night, becoming "The Funniest Person in the Hudson Valley."
Mike Barone had never stepped foot in front of a microphone until his first appearance at WPDH's Funniest Person contest. During round two of the competition, Barone took the stage at Jester's Comedy Club in Chester, NY. Admitting to the crowd that it was his first time, Barone launched into a manic seven minutes of material, discussing his own struggles with social anxiety and cracking the audience up with his unique take on the world around him.
For Barone, just getting on stage was a victory. But after the audience sent him through to the finals with the most votes of the night, Barone knew he might be on to something.
Instead of relying on the material that had worked so well during the semi-finals, Barone decided to write an entire ten minutes of new material. Seasoned comedians would never do such a thing, opting instead for jokes that have been tested out in front of audiences, rewritten and rehearsed over and over again to make sure they actually worked.
The gamble by Barone was a big one, but it paid off.
Having seen Barone's first performance, all three judges were blown away by the quality of the comedian's new material and his flawless on-stage performance. The other comedians in the competition were also pretty impressed, and while they didn't show it, probably a little angry that a first timer could pull off such a feat and leave the crowd rolling in the aisles.
Here's a look at Barone's original audition tape that got him a spot in round one of the contest. His Joel Osteen rant was one of his most popular bits from the semi-finals.
Rounding out the top three in the contest were Andy McDermott, who came in second place, followed by Nicole Pressler. All six comedians were well received by the crowd, and certainly earned their spot in the finals.
The question remains; What's next for Mike Barone?
The contest winner will stop by The Boris & Robyn Show on 101.5 WPDH this Wednesday morning to talk about his victory and whether or not he's going to keep pursuing a comedy career. Chatting with the other comedians after the contest, Barone was encouraged to start attending open mic performances and perfect his act. He seemed excited about the idea, but for now is just taking in the moment and celebrating his new title of "The Funniest Person in the Hudson Valley."