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When You're as Funny as a Car Crash. . .

* If your wit is a wreck and you've got to pay your beloved to laugh at your jokes, then the Orange County Crazies want you.


So here's the idea: Hold a contest to find the most unfunny person in Orange County.

Forget comedic timing, natural wit or good jokes. The more unfunny, the better. In fact, the person who gets few or no laughs, wins.

That's the premise behind the Car Crash of Stand-up Comedy, which the Orange County Crazies, the Santa Ana-based sketch and improv group, hopes will become an annual event.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the contest auditions in September: Nobody showed up.

"I think people just probably were nervous or didn't have enough of a good sense of humor about it to do it--or they just didn't understand what it was," said Drake Doremus, a Crazies' producer who is organizing the contest with fellow producer Barry Weisenberg.

A lack of publicity about the audition also may have played a factor, Doremus said.

So the Car Crash of Stand-up Comedy, which was scheduled to be held this month, has been canceled and a new contest date has been set--Dec. 9--at the Don Cribb Theater at the DePietro Performance Center in Santa Ana.

This time, however, the Crazies won't be scheduling a specific day for auditions. Prospective contestants will audition by appointment only. So if you're the kind of person who tells a joke and nobody laughs, or if you think you're funny and you're not, the Crazies want to hear from you.

The comedy group came up with the idea for the contest one night last summer when Crazies Executive Director Cherie Kerr, board member Brian Spillane, Doremus and Weisenberg were sitting around after conducting auditions for the Crazies' monthly stand-up comedy contest.

As Doremus recalled, the conversation turned to "some of the people who had auditioned who were not very good and how funny they were because they were not funny at all."

While trying to think what to call these clueless people, Doremus said, someone came up with the analogy of a car crash: "How they just go out there and do endless auditions and they think they're hilarious and they're not. So, we came up with the Car Crash of Stand-up Comedy."

Doremus said he and Weisenberg are looking for "people who think they're very funny and are hams like the uncle at the Thanksgiving table who likes to tell jokes and wouldn't mind getting up on stage, or people like stand-up comedians who have been told they're just not funny."

Doremus said they originally were looking for eight contestants, but now they'll settle for four viably unfunny contestants in order to proceed with the contest.

That's not to say they wouldn't like even more humorless souls to grace their stage.

"If 12 unbelievably not funny people show up, we're going to put them all on the show," said Doremus, who hasn't heard of any similar contests in the annals of comedy.

After all, where else can an audience not laugh and feel as though it's gotten its money's worth?

* To set up an audition for the Car Crash of Stand-up Comedy Contest, call (714) 550-9890.

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