Hometown favorite Jim Short emerged from a bruising but beautiful final round to take the crown, the glory and the $5,000 that goes with being elected the 2004 champion at the 29th Annual San Francisco International Open Comedy Competition.
In doing so, he may have to retire one of his favorite lines: “I’m not a loser. I’ve tried. I’m a failure.”
Jim was able to take the top spot by finishing first on two occasions during the last lap comprised of the Green Room in San Francisco on opening night, Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, Sacramento State, the Napa Valley Opera House and concluding at Caesars Tahoe before 1,200 jazzed spectators. Doing 15-20 minute sets, he never fell below third at any of the shows.
With his proud parents in attendance from Down Under, Jim won over crowds and judges with pure stand-up that hilariously exposed a lot about the nation of his birth, Australia, He stayed on a global theme with riffs about American attitudes toward other countries (“You just don’t give a shit”) and contrasted the beautiful media stars in the U.S. with their less than fashionable counterparts in merry old England. A rousing tribute to the Rolling Stones completed his tour de force.
Snapping at Jim’s heels all the way (four of the five finalists placed first at least once during the last five nights) were runner-up Eric Schwartz, an animated Jewish rapper from L.A., and third place finisher Nathan Trenholm, a seething angry little man from Chicago.
Sadiki Fuller successfully completed his transition from Golden State Warriors mascot to professional comedian by placing fourth. In fact, he came in first at the Chico show. Fifth place overall finisher Tommy Savitt came in second in Chico. Some casino should give this disarming lounge lizard his own room in Las Vegas because he’s a 21st century rat packer.
So, it was a real comedy donnybrook that brought out the best in each act. It also brought out their competitive side. After all, the Comedy Competition is also a sporting event. But when all was said and done, the competitors shared a couple bottles of Dom Perignon and it was hugs and kisses all around.