I was recently in two contests in Connecticut recently where I was pitted against 30 and 23 other comics.
In the first contest, unlike myself, they were all from Connecticut (I got in since I had done shows at this club).
I made it past the first round, which isn't saying a lot if you saw most of these other comics.
I made it past the second round though I was lil worried as, even though I was the best pure comic on the show, the crowd wasn't all that into me (of course that brings up the question as how can I be the best if I didn't get the most laughs...see the next sentence to see how I justify it). They preferred really hacky jokes about sex and stereotypes. I was still confident as this contest was not decided by audience laughter, but by actual judges. They wouldn't be swayed by the audience, who were cracking up at jokes so bad, I rarely even hear them at open mic nights.
I got eliminated in the third round. Just to give you an example of what I was up against, the guy who probably got the best crowd reaction had jokes like, "I got stopped by a Chinese cop...I had never seen a Chinese cop before so I rolled down the window and said, 'I'll take pork friend rice and dumplings.'" He then added, "So, I'm in jail."
This same comic got an applause break when asking why women look back when they are having sex doggystyle. "Is it because they want to make sure you're still there (laughs), or because they can't feel it so they want to make sure it's still in? (hysterics)"
This is what I lost to.
The second contest was worse. Without boring you with details, I made it past the first round but couldn't beat a few comics who were worse than most NY open micers in the next round.
Needless to say, I was burning. I was actually too shocked to be angry. I stood around assuming this had to be some sort of joke, then, upon realizing the joke was on me, I wondered if everyone was taking crazy pills.
Then came the anger. But who to be angry at? I can't be angry at the comics...they hear laughs so they have no reason to change. They are also getting approval from the judges. I can't even blame the judges. These weren't industry vets, they were hosts of morning shows and comedy websites (which, by and large, suck). So who to blame? Can I blame the audience for laughing?
No, they're just laughing at what they find funny. I can't blame the booker either...he's giving the audience what they want.
So, who can I blame? No one...
...and that's what sucks.