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We've scoured the country, searching high and low for untapped talent—join host Jeff Gerbino for Heat 1, as 8 great comedians from across the U.S. compete to advance to the next round and keep their dreams of the $10,000 GRAND PRIZE alive in our stand-up comedy competition!

Tickets are only $10!

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Jeff Gerbino is known as the Godfather of Minneapolis Comedy. He will be guest host of Wednesday's 10K Competition Preliminaries and will open for Tom Cotter on Saturday.



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In a self deprecating act, Greg Winston toys with the audience. Winston’s act was featured on Sirius XM Radio in January 2024. He was a finalist in the 2023 Bloomington Comedy Festival, and in the 2023 Funniest Person in Cincinnati Competition, as well. In addition to touring Western Canada, he has performed in festivals and clubs all over the country.

Hannibal Callens has done stand up comedy for almost a decade all across the country! His high energy, up beat, and creative perspective on life and love creates an experience that brings laughter out of every audience. He brings years of acting, improv, and performance expertise every time he comes to the stage, and now he is bringing it to you! He has performed at colleges in Orlando Florida, headlined the Orlando Improv's "Fat Fish Blue" and was a World Series of Comedy quarter finalist. Get ready for an unforgettable night of joy, fun, and laughter!

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James Hancock III is a globetrotting veteran who helps bring laughter to people all around the world. From entertaining fellow troops in Korea, to finishing second in both the prestigious San Francisco and Seattle international comedy competitions, audiences of all backgrounds are drawn to his hilarious and diverse comedic style.

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John Kunik has been performing stand-up since the turn of the century, including last year’s Loons on the Lake Comedy Festival, as well as similar events in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Kansas City. Working primarily in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, and performing in every conceivable venue (and three that were inconceivable), from dives, bars and Legion halls (his favorites), to casinos, clubs and auditoriums, he has appeared with the godfathers of Minnesota comedy: Louie Anderson, Scott Hansen, “Wild Bill” Bauer, and Jeff Gerbino. 

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Laura Merli is an NYC-based standup, actress, and writer. She amassed over 2 million likes on TikTok, is passed at New York Comedy Club, has headlined Don't Tell and Modelface comedy shows, and appeared in the New York Comedy festival, as well as the Women in Comedy Festival. Every third Thursday, she hosts a stand up show (Good Girl) at one of the hottest alt-comedy spots in Brooklyn—Friends & Lovers. She's also performed at top-tier venues across the city including The Bell House, Littlefield, Caveat, and more.

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Linda Aarons recently won the Funniest Person in Minnesota Contest and was first runner-up in Acme Comedy Company's Funniest Person in the Twin Cities Contest. She also performed in The Boston Comedy Festival, San Francisco Sketchfest, and has opened for Louie Anderson.

Sam Rossi has been performing stand-up since he was 15. He has performed at The Comedy Studio and Flappers Comedy Club, and has emceed music showcases at the Hard Rock Cafe. Sam was a finalist in the 2020 Boston Comedy Festival!

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Laughter can solve any problem, which is why it’s not far-fetched to call

Trey Elliot the comedic problem solver. Trey was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and raised in the town of Edison. Following the greats and his comedic icons, Trey moved to Los Angeles, California, where he now resides. Throughout his career, one of his most rewarding accomplishments was touring internationally to Singapore, Diego Garcia, and Afghanistan with the troops for Armed Forces Entertainment. Trey has appeared on “Stann’dup Comedy Show” on Starz, Aspire TV, BET Coming to the Stage, The Last Comic Standing, and shot a special for Kevin Hart’s LOL Network.

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