How To Apply

San Francisco Comedy CompetitionApplications for the 42nd Annual San Francisco Comedy Competition are now closed. We hope to announce the field soon.

The competition itself will take place in September/October, 2017. If you are a comedian interested in expressing your interest in the Competition, please contact us.

(Applications for the similarly formatted 38th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition are being accepted until September 15, 2017.  That competition will take place in Western Washington in November 2017.)

Each of these competitions will attract applications from hundreds of qualified comedians from around the world.  Only 32 comedians will be chosen for the San Francisco Comedy Competition and only 32 comedians will be chosen for the Seattle International Comedy Competition.  If you are interested in being one of the applicants being considered for one of these events, you must make the best possible impression with your application.


  • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age at the start of the competition.  (Many of our event venues are 21+)
  • We only allow solo acts to participate.
  • The application fee for this year is $15 to apply for your choice of either the San Francisco Comedy Competition OR the Seattle International Comedy Competition.
  • Until August 1st, you could have chosen to take advantage of a special offer to apply to BOTH competitions at the same time for $25.  (Please note that each competition draws from its own talent pool and each has its own talent selection criteria.)   As it is after August 1st, this special offer has now expired.  If you want to apply to both competitions, you’ll need to apply to each competition separately and pay the individual fee for each competition.  You can still apply to either competition via the form on this site.
  • The application fee must be paid through PayPal via a form on the next page (link is below.)  Please take note of your PayPal receipt number as you will be required to enter that number on the Application Form.
  • Once you have paid the fee via the PayPal form, you will then need to fill out the Application Form which is found directly below the PayPal form.
  • The Application Form asks you some basic information as well as the two most important aspects of your application for talent selection.
  • SHORT COMEDY BIOGRAPHY:  On the Application Form, we would like to read no more than five sentences (or about 100 words) of information about your comedy achievements.  Your bio might include:  how long you’ve been performing comedy, where you have performed comedy, comedians you’ve worked with, other competitions or festivals you’ve participated in, television appearances, etc.  (NOTE:  We do NOT want your press bio.  Skip the boilerplate and just share your highlights with us.  if you have less than five sentences worth of highlights, that’s ok.  Don’t feel like you need to pad your bio.)
  • VIDEO – This is the most important part of your application. On the Application Form, please list the URL to a video of you performing your original comedy for an audience.  We would like to see around ten consecutive minutes of you at your best, where you can clearly be seen and heard.  (NOTE:  We would like to see “around ten minutes”–but definitely no less than five minutes and if you send more than ten minutes, we may only watch the first ten minutes of the video you link us to.)
  • Your application must be received on or before August 1, 2017 to be considered.
  • NOTE:  Following instructions and giving us the information we ask for can be used as criteria for talent selection to these events.

Competition Information:

Both the San Francisco Comedy Competition and the Seattle International Comedy Competition differ from other competition competitions and festivals in that they run for four weeks.  If you are invited to participate, you will be required to participate for at least one week of shows (your Preliminary Week) and, if you advance to the Semi-Finals or the Finals, your commitment could be two, three or even four weeks total.

The 42nd Annual San Francisco Comedy Competition runs from September 6 through October 1 (dates are subject to change.)

Preliminary Week One:  September 6 to September 10 (16 performers)

Preliminary Week Two:  September 13 to September 17 (16 performers)

NOTE:  Most invited participants will be able to choose which Preliminary Week works best for them.

The top five performers for each Preliminary Week (ten comedians in all) will advance to compete in the Semi-Finals:  September 19 to September 23

The top five performers in the Semi-Finals will advance to compete in the Finals:  September 27 to October 1st.

The 42nd Annual San Francisco Comedy Competition offers a prize pool of at least $15,000 shared by the performers who make it through the Semi-Finals and beyond, with the winner receiving $5000.  (The 38th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition has a similar prize pool for their participants.)


Please use our Contact Form.