Boston is a city of runners, and today marks their high point of excitement during the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. Thankfully, for the less athletically inclined, there’s another choice that sounds almost as athletic: Mendoza Line Comedy’s third annual Boston Comedy Marathon. With 26.2 comedians over three shows, the Saturday night showcase was an opportunity for an ab workout and a display of some of the region’s best comics.
Hosts George Civeris, Pamela Ross, and Zach Armentrout (whose hosting stints comprised the show’s curious “point two” number) declined to name their leaders of the pack ahead of Saturday’s marathon, noting “We love everyone equally, like children. Who are good at comedy. And whose real parents don’t love them.” But after my “running” of the event, a group of comics did emerge at the front of the pack. Look out for these names in the months and years to come, and be sure to check out this staple of Boston’s Marathon Weekend, if you find yourself in town in future years!
Sam Evans (@ReallySamEvans)
The Cincinnati-bred comic and co-host of “Tyrannosaurus” in New York, Sam provided a bit of energy to the second and third shows of the marathon. His bit about his 70-year-old bow-tied father’s repeated Toastmasters victories and frustrated indictment of Verizon Paul’s abrupt defection to Sprint, worked the crowd into some of the loudest laughs of the night.
GET MORE: Look for Sam in Long Island City or listen for him on his podcast, Up Your Butt and Around the Corner.
Xazmin Garza (@StartsWithAnX)
A recent addition to the Boston comedy scene, Garza was raised in Utah and has quickly made a mark in Massachusetts with her frank and hilarious delivery. She recently caught the eye of Comedy Central, and performed in their Boston showcase a few days before the Marathon. Her bits on taking her best male friend to a strip club as a bisexual woman, and her take on how people respond when she shares that news, brought big laughs mid marathon- right when a jolt was needed, as is often the case in a real marathon.
GET MORE: Xazmin at the historic Comedy Studio
Carmen Lagala (@CarmenLagala)
I’d never thought about how it would feel to travel with a painting of myself, but I know now that the resulting confusion and embarrassment would be hilarious. This bit from Carmen, along with her musings on what we should define as confident body posture, were clear highlights of the second and third shows of the Marathon. She hails from nearby Vermont, but joined the show from her current home base in New York.
GET MORE: Carmen Live at the Knitting Factory
Jiayong Li (@jlicomedy)
A favorite in the area and alum of the Boston Comedy Festival, Jiayong Li is another local rising star who was featured in this past week’s Comedy Central showcase at The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square. His matter-of-fact delivery on topics such as wordplay, communication, and his Chinese upbringing was consistently met with a riotous laughter that helped to end the first show of the Marathon with a bang. Jiayong is an outstanding addition to any room he plays; find him around town whenever you have the chance.
GET MORE: Jiayong on Bombing with Mike Dorval
Rohan Padhye (@rpadhye)
What’s it like being the first Mexican family in Cranbury, NJ? Hard to say, as Rohan’s family is actually Indian, but his joke on the topic earned some of the biggest laughs of the first show. Rohan has been a staple of the New England comedy scene, with appearances in the Boston Comedy Festival and Newport, RI’s Rogue Island Comedy Festival, before a recent move to New York. His return to Boston for the Marathon was hugely welcome, and his presence was an uplifting force for the audience as well as the fellow comics.
GET MORE: Rohan at The Comedy Studio
Rob Pooley (@RHPooley)
We all had that teacher in high school who we all knew didn’t want to be there. Rob’s retelling of his high school equivalent, including denying bathroom privileges to a student/“asshole,” lifted the crowd’s energy after an erratic first few sets. He continued to keep the room entertained with a retelling of the first time he watched porn with his girlfriend- which, as far as she knows, was his first time too.
Lamont Price (@LPizzle)
Lamont was the host of last year’s Boston Calling Comedy Experience, the festival’s first foray into comedy; this year, he’ll be featured (alongside fellow Comedy Marathoner Bethany Van Delft) in the festival’s expanded comedy experience, hosted by Hannibal Buress. If his performance during the Marathon was any indication, with hilarious bits about the secret messages in White Men Can’t Jump, and how much danger has to be imminent for him to get out of bed to close out the Marathon’s middle set, he’s going to make Boston quite proud on this high-profile stage.
GET MORE: Tickets to Boston Calling’s Memorial Day weekend festival are on sale now.
Kate Procyshyn (@kateprocyshyn)
This librarian by day who isn’t allowed to tell you where she works (but insists you can probably figure it out) brought the first big laughs of the Marathon’s final show with tales of a family meeting that got out of hand quickly, before becoming – in Kate’s estimation – pretty disappointing. Her previous showings at the Boston Comedy Festival and Arch City Comedy Festival give me high hopes that we’ll be hearing more of her quietly hilarious delivery in the very near future.
GET MORE: Secret Yearbook Sessions with Ken Reid
In the span of a respectable marathon running time, The Dugout Cafe hosted over twenty comics and delivered an experience that somehow still managed to leave me tired, sore, and a little dehydrated. Thanks to George, Pam, and Zach at Mendoza Line for keeping this tradition alive, and I look forward to making it an annual part of my Marathon weekend.