Counting Room – World Series of Comedy – Las Vegas, NV

World Series of Comedy back stage area.The World Series of Comedy is a super great event.  Yes, it’s a comedy competition, which I generally don’t like.  But this one ends up being kind of like summer camp for comedians.  Besides the shows the public gets to see there are also workshops about the biz and fun stuff like a poker tournament and karaoke night.  (No, I didn’t sing any damn karaoke…)

Plus it’s a chance to hang out with a bunch of cool performers and industry people that I otherwise would only briefly cross paths with each year.

Since I was staying in the hotel the fest was at, my dressing room for the gig was my room.  Instead, this picture is backstage in the vote counting room.  Not only did I perform in the festival, I was also on staff and in charge of counting the votes for every single comic (except me… damn.)

Along the wall on the far left and on the shelves on the right is loads of junk food.  Bad eating week for me.  In fact, that purple bag is full of candy.  Candy that was gone before the fest was over.

I saw around 150 comedy sets over a week.  That’s a ton of comedy.  Saw 60 sets on the first night alone.

So I spent a lot of time in this little room counting up votes with my helpers, listening to sets through the curtain and watching from directly behind the curtain.  From there I was only able to see the shadow of the performer on the curtain, which is an intriguing way to watch a show.

My own set turned out pretty crappy.  I tried to work clean and smart and that crowd wasn’t really having it for some reason.  The jokes that usually get giant laughs, got medium laughs.  And the rock paper scissors joke that I closed on actually got a groan.  It’s never NOT gotten an applause break, so that was a shocker.  Oh, well.  Next year I’m doing two things differently: underestimate the crowd and play some music.  Neither of which I’ve ever done there, so we’ll see what happens with it.

The funny thing is that I had done exactly the same set recently at the Punch Line in San Francisco, and did all the same material in a longer set at a place in Concord… Killed both times.  Comedy, you fickle bitch.

World Series of Comedy StageHere’s the audience view of the stage.  Really great little showroom. The counting room pictured above is right behind that left video screen. And I watched most of the sets from behind the curtain in that dark spot between the left video screen and center stage.

If you’d like to find out more about the festival, visit

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