IRVINE — The competition heats up in the "Captain Morgan Laff Off" Sunday and Monday at the Irvine Improv, as the monthlong contest winds to a close.
Four Mondays of comedy one-upmanship have narrowed the field of hopefuls from 48 to 17 for Sunday's semifinals. The four survivors will move on to Monday's finals, where they will compete for a top prize of $4,000 and four weeks of bookings at the Improv. Second and third prizes are $1,000 and $500 respectively, each with three weeks of Improv bookings.
The contest has not been an amateur showcase: Sunday's field is dotted with veteran professional comics, including such high-profile performers as Rick Rockwell, a headliner with frequent TV appearances to his credit, and San Francisco's Johnny Steele, who was second-billed on this week's Improv lineup with Bill Engvall.
Sunday's field of 17 will divide and perform in two shows, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Semifinalists are: Bob Worley, Lry Sknr, Allan Murray and Rene Sandoval (from the May 7 competition); Jerry Miner, Vince Champ, Doug Benson, Ron Robertson and Gerry Swallow (May 14); Chuck Martin, Don McMillian, Dave Maxey and Scott Herriott (May 21); and Don Barnhart, Steele, Rockwell and Greg Ray (May 28).