Amateur talent competitions-—American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, America's Got Talent-—amass record-shattering TV audiences. They're an incredibly popular form of entertainment, but they're also one of the most cringeworthy. Watching a clumsy dancer, tone-deaf singer or unfunny comedian can cause physical pain. When local company With an H Productions announced the launch of Boise's Funniest Person, a multi-week comedy competition at Liquid Laughs, the buzz of anticipation included some groans of anxiety—which soon turned to laughter as the contestants in the inaugural BFP turned out to be some seriously humorous people. This summer, the third iteration of BFP once again gave voice to a group of bright, clever amateurs who were as funny (if not funnier) than plenty of comics working today. Liquid may not be able to hold as many audience members as a Los Angeles sound stage but all three years, from the first night to the finals, the club has been standing room only, filled with people not there to heckle or hate, but support the wannabe comics with the one thing most of them crave like a vampire thirsts for blood: laughter. It's funny how things work out.
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