Best Of 2017

MOST PLAYED-OUT COMEDY THEME: Competitions/Roast Battles

MOST PLAYED-OUT COMEDY THEME

Look, we all enjoy Last Comic Standing and the Comedy Central roasts. That doesn't mean those tired themes have to be trotted out every time a venue needs a show idea. Pitting local comedians against each other to either "move on" in a competition or hurl random insults at their competitors has become so common, we've almost forgotten that stand-up comedy is supposed to entertain an audience, not a panel of judges or a snickering dais. There's nothing wrong with an occasional competition or roast. One radio program is having comedians compete for a spot on an annual cruise. That's a fun event. But you can have too much of a good thing, and perpetual competitions and insult contests only water down those genres for both the comedians and the audience. —Michael Murillo