Readers’ Choice: Best of SFComedy in 2015: Stand-Up.

In addition to spotlighting whom the SF comedy community’s tastesmakers collectively revered as “Best Stand-Up Comedians of 2015″, we’ve also organized a reader’s ballots with a variety of categories. Some straightforward, some subjective, all in good fun. A lot of joke answers, self-voting and spam, but it’s to be expected with readers of Courting Comedy.  Thanks everybody for voting. Check out what 72 people with unique Google accounts had to say!


P.S. If you enjoy my work, please help me recoup some of my costs producing this piece at my Patreon account or with a one-time donation.

Best Open Mic: Penelope’s (Wednesdays).

Runner Up: Brainwash Cafe (Thursdays).
Weirdest Answer: “Punchline”. Never in my life has the San Francisco Punch Line had a open mic night. Maybe they mean “punchline” as in “insert end of joke”, which is a bit too early to get meta.

Best Weekly Show: Mission Position.

Runner Up: San Francisco Punch Line Sunday Showcase.
Weirdest Answer: “my mom”. This marks a pattern of irreverence.

Best Monthly Show: Hand to Mouth.

Runner Up: (Tie) Ladies Love the Layover and It’s Just Two Minutes.
Weirdest Answer: Shit Talk. Not for any reason other than it’s a funny name for a show, especially out of context.


Best Host: Tony Sparks.

Runner Up: Pam Benjamin.
Weirdest Answer: OJ Patterson (ret.) Specifically the “ret.” condition. If this was “best retired host” tho…

Best Venue: Lost Weekend Video/Cine Cave.

Runner Up: San Francisco Punch Line.
Weirdest Answer: “my mom’s vagina”. This guy again…

Best Comedian to Open a Show: Joe Gorman.

Runner Up: (Tie) Ben Kolina and Kaseem Bentley.
Weirdest Answer: Sammy Obeid. I guess any great comedian is “best to open shows” but what circumstances would you need to have a headliner-caliber comedian with TV credits first on a show?

Best Comedian to Close A Show: (Tie) Matt Lieb and Kaseem Bentley.

Best One-Liner Comedian: Christopher John.

Runner Up: Land Smith.
Weirdest Answer: “Meow”. Right back at you.


(photo courtesy of Scott Simpson)

Best Riffer: Kaseem Bentley.

Runner Up: Juan Medina.
Weirdest Answer: Local comedian Todd Barry? What? Did you panic?

Best Storyteller: (Tie) Jessica Sele and Kate Willett.

Runner Up: Steve Poggi.
Weirdest Answer: Imran G. and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, because they’ve been recognized as really good by storytelling institutions and the voters were like “Naw”.

Musical Comedy: MooreDevine.

Runner Up: DJ REAL.
Weirdest Answer: Walker Glenn. I didn’t know Walker played music. That guy wears a lot of hats.

Best Comedian When They’re Bombing: (Tie) Mark Smalls, Jessica Sele, Christopher John, Cameron Vannini, Charles Hoffa Kelly.

Weirdest Answer: “Hitler”. Really only a matter of time before somebody answered with this.

Most Likely to Thrive At Dorsey’s Locker: Charles Hoffa Kelly.

Weirdest Answer: “Nobody, Dorsey’s dead”. Sad, blunt.

Best Absurdist: DJ REAL.

Runner Up: (Tie) Land Smith, Scott Vermiere.
Weirdest Answer: “That old guy that goes to all the shows at Milk Bar.” Oddly specific for someone I’ve never encountered.

Best Comedian to Have Moved Away in the Last Year: (Tie) Johan Miranda, David Gborie.

Weirdest Answer: “Who cares? They moved”. COLD BLOODED!

Best Defunct Institution: La Rocca’s Corner’s Open Mic.

Runner Up: The Business (SF)


(photo courtesy of Red Scott)

Best Joke: Torio’s God joke.

Rookie of the Year: Audrey Crescenti.

Runner Up: Ashton Tate.
Weirdest Answer: “My cat (don’t ask).” I won’t!

Best Laugher in the Room (aka the OJ Patterson Laughter Memorial Award): Molly Sanchez

Runner Up: OJ Patterson.
Weirdest Answer: “What does this even mean?”

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