Ten comics to vie for $1,000 prize at Speakeasy Challenge

Local News

The Laugh Hard Comedy Competition finals will be this Saturday, Sept. 25 at The Speakeasy.

After two preliminary rounds on Sept. 11 and 18 with standup comedians from across the Midwest and from as far away as California, The Speakeasy in downtown Rock Island is down to the top 10 competing for the chance to win $1,000 and be crowned as Speakeasy Laugh Hard Champion on Sept. 25.

“We are so excited about this show on the 25th,” said Brett Hitchcock, director of audience development. “We’ve had so many talented comics perform this month. It was really difficult for the judges to narrow this field to the top 10! Those competing on the 25th are all outstanding comics and will be bringing their best material that night trying to win the $1,000. It’s also nice to see several Quad City comics make the top 10. It’s a testament to the quality of stand up comedy right here in our own backyard.”

Winners from the first preliminary round were Matt Miller, left, Samir Addelkarim, JD Spets, Johnny Ruckus, Colin Mattox and show emcee, Todd Willhite.

Hitchcock encourages everyone to get their tickets early as this show will sell out. Tickets for the finals are $12 per person in advance and $15 the day of the show (at 1818 3rd Ave., Rock Island) and can be reserved by calling 309-786-7733, ext. 2 or online at thecirca21speakeasy.com. You must be 18 or older to attend.

The comedians will be judged in a number of areas including material, stage presence and audience response. If you’re a friend of one of those competing, come out and show your support. The 10 finalists are…..

  • JD Spets – Kewanee, IL
  • Matt Miller – Bloomington, IL
  • Samir Abdelkarim – East Moline, IL
  • Johnny Ruckus – Moline, IL
  • Colin Mattox – Iowa City, IA
  • Leslie Mitchell – Bettendorf, IA
  • Shayne Neubert – Matherville, IL
  • Layne Johnson – Peoria, IL
  • Zach Boblitt – Springfield, IL
  • Dan McCullough – Dubuque, IA

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