The fourth annual Battle of Paducah will be held on December 21 at 8 pm at Paducah Beer Werks. Admission is only $5. This is Paducah's one and only stand-up comedy competition. Come watch the best and up and coming comedians duke it out to win this year's honor of “Funniest Comedian in Paducah”. This year, close to twenty comedians battle it out with their best jokes and stories.
This year’s exclusive line up consists of local favorites from Paducah, Murray, Bowling Green, Cape Giradeau, Carbondale, and more! The $5 entry will be donated to local non-profit charities such as Paducah Cooperative Ministries and Project Pomona.
The first year organizers held this event, 12 people entered and around 50 attended, and the winner of that was Brendan Cole Lawrence. He has moved to Chicago to perform comedy and work in theater. The second year, 20 people entered and the attendance was probably closer to 80-90. The winner was Jamaal Gardner who had only been doing stand up for less than a month! Last year, a long time veteran of the comedy scene in Paducah, Jorge Machaen (who recently filmed an hour long special), won it and looks to defend his title in 2018.
A panel of judges will decide this year's winner and organizers always try to have "celebrity" judges. In previous years judges have included members of Paducah Improv, Paducah Bourbon Society, Market House Theater and Ingenious Basterds Podcast. This year’s judges will be Josh And Jenny Linville of Manley Daniels Barber Shop and Compass Counseling, along with iList's own Will Brandon.
The brain behind all this funny!
William Raye started doing comedy about four and a half years ago and there were only a handful of comedians in this area at the time. The only way to perform was an open mic at JPs Bar and Grill, and he realized that comedians really wanted to do more than five minutes and expand on their comedy.
“We tried out and booked our own show at Paducah Beer Werks in the summer of 2015,” Raye told me. “We had a great turn out, and great time so we started doing once a month shows. As the shows continued, we had more and more people trying out stand-up comedy and wanting to perform so I decided to book anyone on a super show and give the proceeds to a few charities, and it just sort of became a yearly thing.”
Proceeds have gone to a few charities over the years. “Paducah Cooperative Ministries has always had a special place in my heart,” Raye added. “The work that Heidi Suhreinrich and her staff does for this community is wonderful and inspiring. In the past we’ve raised $750-$1000. We are looking to raise even more this year!”
I asked Raye why folks should attend the event; his response was simple. “Local comedians. Local charities. Local beer. All for five bucks.” For more information, visit their Facebook event page.