The second annual competition pits 10 contenders against each other including last year's semifinalists Joe Howard, Brian Wehmann, and Mike Wypasek. During the three-round battle, the comedians randomly pick one of 10 topics, from Cleveland politics to the Iraqi war. Then they have three minutes to riff on it. A trio of judges determines the winner. "I don't want people bumbling over words," says Hannum. "This separates people who take it seriously from the people who fuck around and write material right before the show starts." Still, Hannum says, he won't be surprised if some of the comedians come unprepared tonight. "Comedians are notorious for procrastinating," he says. "The fact that they show up is amazing."
Fri., June 23, 9 p.m.