Zanies Comedy Club in St. Charles will play host to 40 comics who will compete July 27 to 30 for a chance to face off in the World Series of Comedy.
"The comics are basically competing for work," said Joe Lowers, owner, producer and organizer of the World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas.
If you goIf you go
World Series of Comedy
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, July 27-29; 10 p.m. Friday, July 29; 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, July 30
Where: Zanies Comedy Club, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6342, zanies.com
Tickets: $15-$20; two-item food or drink minimum
Note: You must be 21 or older
And work they shall. To get to the competition in Vegas, featuring more than 100 comics, comedians must first submit a video, which will be reviewed by judges. If chosen, the comics move on through the various rounds.
The first round -- "Wildcard Wednesday" on July 27 -- features 16 comics with five minutes to perform. Three of the comics will move on to the second round and one wild-card winner is chosen to perform in both the Thursday and Friday shows. Six round-two comics will move on to the first Saturday show and perform for 11 minutes. Three will then advance to the second Saturday show and perform for 25 minutes each.
Judges, who all have some form of comedic background, as well as members of the St. Charles audience, decide which comics continue in the competition.
The first-place winner receives direct admittance and free entry into the main event, a $200 airfare voucher, a five-night stay in a Las Vegas hotel and paid work at Zanies. Second- and third-place prizes are free registration.
Sam Norton is one of the Chicago-based comedians who will participate in the St. Charles competition.
"I got second place in the Wichita competition," Norton said in a telephone interview. "I'm doing the St. Charles one to try and win first place."
Although winning first place and having most of the Las Vegas trip paid for would be nice, this prize pales in comparison to the winnings that can come from the main event.
Though the prizes have not yet been finalized, the World Series of Comedy website says the winner can receive up to 50 weeks of paid work.
Audiences locally and in Las Vegas win too -- with a night of laughs.