There are a a series of “Ultimate Miami” contests held for things like best band, bartender, and dessert. This year included an Ultimate Miami Comedian. Finally stand-up comics can join the ranks of food trucks and drag queens to compete for $5,000. Is this what it feels like to fight for civil rights?
I made it to the finals of this odyssey and the results have been edited into a fun, contest reality type program. It’s an interesting cross section of the Miami comedy scene, and the emerging narrative explores the true cost of a laugh.
I rather enjoyed it. Well done Beach TV, and thank you to the Ultimate Miami competition for supporting the local scene. I had a great time, despite my public weeping.
Like all contests, some things were… ponderous. Like having nearly 20 comics do three minutes each instead of fewer comics doing more time (though I get the appeal of a large showcase, and that more comedians means a bigger crowd = profit = success). The room is a huge convention hall where sound was sucked into the towering ceilings and over a crowd displaying the extreme diversity found only in the gambling and comedy communities of Miami. I won’t spoil the winner, but congrats to him. So now you know it’s not a woman? Don’t worry, no women even made it to the finals! Really? Yeah, and some funny ones tried out. Also, there were times when the interviewers asked loaded questions to inspire trash-talking, but the editing wasn’t manipulative.
What do you think about the program? Did the right comedian win? Does joke stealing matter? Will the Miami comedy scene ever matter? Are stand-up contests necessarily evil, or a necessary evil? AND WHERE ARE YOU GOING?