Local Comedians to Compete for Big Cash Prize in Pocatello This Weekend


On Saturday, June 4, Boise comedians James Zimmerman, Megan McCaleb Bryant, Pete Peterson and Olek Szewczyk will make the trek over to Pocatello to compete against four other Idaho comedians in the inaugural Idaho Championship of Comedy, to be held at Idaho State University.

The event is an amateur competition that also will raise money for programs to help developmentally disabled adults find jobs. It is without doubt a fun way for comedians to gain exposure while benefiting a good cause.

But it doesn't hurt that it comes with a $1,500 grand prize.

For 27-year-old Szewczyk, who started doing comedy only eight months ago, the competition is about more than just raising his status. After coming to Idaho as a political refugee from Poland when he was only 1-year-old, he says he needs the money to get his citizenship.

"In five years, my green card expires, and if I don't get married, I'll have to leave," he says.

As for his anchor-marriage prospects: "I'm not even close, man. Girls go on two dates with me and then I never hear from them again," he says.

Of course, this video clip from his act explaining what a date with him is like might explain why.

Second prize for the competition is $750, third is $500 and fourth is $250. And prizes like that certainly raise the stakes.

With that much on the line, Szewczyk says he's a little apprehensive.

"But that happens to me before every show," he says. "I always get super-nervous, but then 20 minutes before I go on stage, I'm fine. I might do a little throwing up the morning before, though."