Veishea Says I’m Funny gives campus comedians chance to shine

Cole Komma

Laughter rings and echoes through the corridors of the Memorial Union on this night of Veishea week. Students will compete in the Veishea Says I’m Funny comedy competition at 8 p.m. on April 16, 2013 in the M-Shop.

“Veishea Says I’m Funny is a comedy competition for ISU students to showcase their comedic abilities,” said George Potter, Veishea committee member and co-director of the M-shop.

Instead of a cash prize, the competition gives the winner age-old bragging rights. “It gives the student recognition and the right to say that they won,” Potter said.

Joey Ficken, ISU alumnus and winner of the 2012 contest, competed two years prior to winning and kept returning to immerse himself in the atmosphere.

“My favorite part is the crowd,” Ficken said. “At amateur [comedy clubs], you rarely have a room like that or a crowd that big. 200 people is a lot of people to get in front of and tell jokes.”

After winning the competition, Ficken said he did get approached by multiple students who recognized him from the competition. 

“Some people have — I’ve been recognized before in Campustown, which is pretty cool. It still amazes me,” Ficken said, “For one, they recognize me and for two, I did a good enough job where complete strangers tell me I did a good job.”

Ficken said he’d always wanted to do stand-up and urges anyone who is interested in doing stand-up to just get on stage. “I started doing stand-up in January the year that I first entered Veishea Says I’m Funny,” Ficken said. “If you want to do stand-up, get on stage as much as you can.”

Ficken also said a pen and paper can be two of your greatest allies, and having a list on stage can be your worst enemy.

“Always try to write new jokes. Have a notepad or figure out some way to write it down. Put it in your phone,” Ficken said. “Write down anything you think is funny. Even if it turns out to be crap later. At least get it down on paper; good jokes come from that. And when it comes to the stage, never use a list. Make sure you memorize your jokes. I used to bring a little piece of paper up on stage and you don’t look very professional when you do that.”

If Ficken cannot make it to the live competition, he tries to watch the comedians’ videos after they are put up online. He also notes that acts change, and it is with the help of his friends that his acts improve.

“My main advice to anybody [doing stand-up] is [if] your friends are willing to tell you that you suck, you should listen to them,” Ficken said. “I had a few friends do that for me and it really helped me immensely. You also want a few friends that will still tell you you’re awesome. You do need that ego boost every once in a while.”