Cariboo Comedy: Win 20K Cash!
What if I told you, you could win a hundred dollars? How about five hundred? A thousand? Twenty five hundred? What if I told you, you could win twenty thousand in cash just for telling jokes?
You’d probably say something like, “Just shut up and tell me how I can get this money!” Well, you’re in luck my friend, because the largest comedy competition in Canada is about to happen and it’s only happening in Vancouver, B.C. That’s right, hombres and hombrettes, Patrick Maliha’s People’s Champ of Comedy is back and it’s better than ever!
This year we’re putting on a comedy competition that is offering thirty thousand dollars in total prize money, which just so happens to make it the largest comedy competition in Canada! (Editor’s Note: Really? That shit cra… That shit cray!). The way it breaks down is something like this; sixty competitors from across the country will compete at various venues throughout the months of July and August, at the end of it someone walks away a whole lot richer! The best part? The winner is one hundred percent determined by audience voting. We’re also giving away two g to the competitor that gets the most hits on their video, so technically, you could actually walk away with twenty two grand, if you’re that good. All the info and technical stuff is in the links at the bottom of the blog, but for now, I’d like to answer the two main questions I’ve been asked about The People’s Champ of Comedy.
“How did this thing all start and where did you get the money?!”
OK, last question first. We got the money via sponsorship from the good people at Shore 104 FM radio, Cariboo brewing and a mystery sponsor that we can’t mention until they launch their product in the next week or two (Editor’s Note: trust us, it’s a product that you’ll think was made specifically for the competition, but no, it’s a real thing!!). Shore 104 is the presenting sponsor and they helped us along a little bit last year, and after seeing how amazing the competition can be, we started chatting about growing the competition even more so. It took about seven to eight months of work, but when all was said and done, we came to an agreement that helped us become the biggest comedy competition in the country! (Editor’s Note: Not bad for an old dumb guy!)
Now, to answer the first question; “How did this thing all start?” Well, it’s a bit of a long and boring story (Editor’s Note: Awesome!!) but I’ll skip the technicals and just get to the basics. Five years ago I was booking one main comedy night and a couple of smaller one-nighters. All of them had the same problems that every comedy room has when it starts out – how do you get people to come to the shows and how do you get people to talk about the shows? (Editor’s Note: Getting comedians to perform at shows is usually not a problem. Most comedians are stage whores. Fact. Google it.)
So I came up with a plan for a weekly comedy competition that would have one lucky comedian win a hundred bucks for the night, via audience votes. I went through various incarnations and adjustments of the balloting system, how the money was awarded (At one point, you could take the money or put it back in the pot and go for two fifty next week, five hundred the week after, a thousand the week after and two thousand the week after that. Unfortunately, only one guy put the money back in the pot and he lost the next week, so no one ever had the guts to go for the gusto. So that was a bust).
Certain venues worked well with the system, others not so much. The next year, as summer approached I saw the writing on the wall. The summer months are the deadest time of the year for comedy (Editor’s Note: The sun is our enemy!) so I knew I had to come up with a plan to get people into my main room. No people in the room, no reason for a pub owner to have a comedy night. So I came up with an idea to have a six-week contest where someone would win five hundred smackers. We’d have forty competitors, people would get a ballot when they paid cover, the audience would vote, we’d count the ballots and people would advance like American Idol or Last Comic Standing. The single venue six-week contest proved to be a huge hit! So, the next year I decided to jack the prize up to a thousand dollars. Wouldn’t you know it? For the final week of the competition we had a line-up around the block and had to turn away over forty people. We were sold out, baby!
The third year, I decided to jack the money even more so and had the competition spread out at various venues. This was a huge leap from the two previous years. The grand prize was two thousand dollars for first, seven fifty for second and two fifty for third. It was going to be awesome! But, as things sometimes go, one of the venues dropped out two weeks into the competition. Despite my telling them that certain nights wouldn’t work, etc., they still felt that they knew better and went with the nights they wanted. Needless to say, we learned that in Vancouver you can not compete with July 1st holiday evening. The numbers were soft and the venue pulled the chute. It was terrible. I had to lower the pay-out simply because the venue had agreed to put up some of the prize money. As the contest went on, people sloughed it off, said that was “BS” on the part of the venue and everything ended up working out in the end (We got a different venue on board that ended up being waaaaaaaay better, so it was all good).
The third year was the first time I brought in venues that weren’t mine and I worked with people outside of my main comedy circle. Every year was a turning point and a learning experience, but the third was probably the year I learned the most. The first thing I learned was that if you’re putting up your own money (Which I have done every year except for this current one), you really need to lay down the hammer. I was concerned about feelings, etc., when I really should have been concerned about business. The venue pulling the chute could have been avoided if I had approached things differently and gone in with a contract, etc. Also, one of the other venue participants was someone who was all talk, but when it came down to it, they not only had absolutely no business sense, but they also simply didn’t care if they were responsible for other people losing money. Both myself and the other venue runner lost up to two thousand dollars between us and it was only because I chose to go against my instincts and not hurt someone’s feelings. I had made the unforgivable mistake in business of agreeing to do a venue with someone I had serious misgivings about. But there was a silver lining to the losses – I learned a lot. It was one of those lessons where you lose a thousand bucks, but it helped avoid my losing a million in the future (Editor’s Note: Yah, call me when you hit a million $$$, buddy *eye roll*)
Despite the problems with the third year though, in the end everything went well! We ended strong, people were happy and some new stuff that I tried ended up working out great! So I started planning for year number four. I wanted it to be bigger than the previous years and to avoid any crap-o-la.
Last year, the fourth year, was an interesting run. It was the first year I only had one venue in the competition, but at the same time it was the year that it was obvious The People’s Champ had really taken root. Several weeks before the competition people were asking to sign up, I had nearly eighty potential entrants for only sixty spots, the money was the best cash pot I’d ever had and there was a very serious buzz about the competition.
Once again, I put up my own money for the majority of the prize package. But due to the success of previous years, the system for venues to kick in a fee to be a part of the competition was smooth as silk (Editor’s Note: Hey, when a place that holds a hundred people can bring in two to three g per night in liquor sales alone, they tend to want in!), the balloting system was the best incarnation of it yet, publicity was actually happening, etc. The fourth year was the year everything came together and worked out. Sure there were some hiccups along the way that always happen when you have any type of multi-venue event that goes for seven weeks and due to only having one venue I wasn’t making anywhere nearly what I should have been, it was pretty much smooth sailing.
Then, three weeks before the end of the competition something amazing happened. The Edgewater Casino agreed to be the venue for the night of the finals. Boom! Seemingly out of nowhere, weeks of negotiations came to fruition. We now had a sweet soft-seat theatre that held three hundred and fifty people for our final night of the competition. And if that wasn’t enough, three days before the finals, I received and email from the folks at Shore FM saying they wanted to kick in some cash to bump up the final cash prizing for the top eight competitors and all they wanted in return was to be able to film and record some sets for Canadian content. In three short weeks our tiny competition had just grown into a not-so-tiny competition.
The rest is a giant blur. The final night went off amazingly well, without any problems what-so-ever (Editor’s Note: Except for the fact that The Edgewater Casino underestimated the place being sold out and didn’t have the 2nd bar open. But in their defense, no one expected a sell-out!). The place was packed, everyone had great sets, we all had a wonderful time and the guy I had kept on as a venue partner from year three, Johnny Scoop, actually made some money :-p It was only awesome!
Which now leads us to where we are today – year five of a five-year plan. The People’s Champ of Comedy is now Canada’s largest comedy competition and it’s happening right here in Vancouver. On August 25th someone will walk away form the Edgewater Casino with at least $20,000 in cash money. Yes, there have been some bumps and miss-steps in the years along the way, but hey that’s how you learn to succeed. You fail a few times, learn that’s not the way to get things done and you try something else. I’m glad that the one thing I’m good at is learning from my mistakes. Yes, I may not learn from them right away and yes I may make those same mistakes more than a few times, but eventually I learn from them… for the most part (Editor’s Note: Actually, Patrick’s one gift is that he’s smart enough to know he isn’t that smart).
So, if anyone ever says that setting one, five and ten year goals is a fallacy and a simple easy-fix buzz-term, you just say to them, “Hey, what about Patrick Maliha? That guy’s the producer/creator of Canada’s largest comedy competition… and he’s an idiot!”
HEY! Want to get in on Patrick Maliha’s The People’s Champ of Comedy Competition presented by Shore 104? Well, there are two ways you can do so! You can win a spot at the Sin Bin weekly variety show and move on to the $500 Champion of Champions show at the Rio Theatre June 23rd or you can submit a video on-line! Either way, it’s gonna be tough to get in since we’re expecting a ton of applicants. But if you believe in yourself, think you’re hilarious or if you have a bunch of friends and family who believe in you and think you’re hilarious, you might just have a chance to be a whole lot richer!
Check out all the info on how you can participate via the links below:
Saturday June 23rd:
It’s our third installment of the ever-popular Champion of Champion’s Show! This show has become so popular, every comedian in town wants on the show! And, since it’s only been a success because of you super-duper-awesome-amazing people, I’ve made advance tickets only five bucks! (Editor’s Note: Available via www.BrownPaperTickets.com)
The only way to get on the show is you have to win a spot at the smaller (But just as fun) Sin Bin Variety show every Thursday. Only three (3) spots left, so get hustling and Facebook Patrick Maliha for a spot!
This is just what it sounds like! A variety show where any and all acts are welcome! It’s going to be a regular weekly show brought to you in part by the fine folks at Cariboo Brewing and every week, one lucky contestant will be voted on by the audience as the winner and that person will get a hundred dollars cash money! Second place will get a thirty dollar gift certificate to The Sin Bin Sports Bar and Grill. In addition, the first place winner gets automatic entry to the June 23rd $500 Winner Take All Champion of Champions show at The Rio. Sa-Weet!
Until next time, true believers…
Patty The Fatty
More Facebook Event Links