From: St. Paul Dispatch*

Date: September 9, 1982

Headline: Funnymen Fight to Knock Out Competition with Punchlines

Subline: Comedians: Thrive on competition

Photo(s): Oops! Back to the drawing board for this card trick being attempted by comedian Joel Hodgson, who specializes in white dinner jackets and a stupid look. Hodgson will join other comedians in the first-ever Twin Cities Comedy Invitational competition beginning next Thursday. [Hodgson with cards flying in mid-air.]

Author: Protzman, Bob

Page(s): B1, B10

In this corner, wearing a white dinner jacket and a blank look is Joel Hodgson, comic/magician, winner of the 1981 Campus Comedy Contest. His opponent, wearing a tweed sport-coat and a smirk, is Jeff Gerbino, formerTwin Citian who is knocking 'em dead in Los Angeles, where he was a semi-finalist in the Laff Off competition.

And ready, willing and able to join these two in the comic slugfest are four other funnymen in the Class AA division and 12 laughmakers in Class A of the first annual Twin Cities Comedy Invitational.

The contest, sponsored by the Comedy Gallery, the Twin Cities Reader and Republic Airlines, will be held in St. Paul and Minneapolis next Wednesday through Sept. 26.

There will be two judges here for each show, five for the finals. Thejudges, to be selected from among the media, talent agencies, people in other areas of show business, and comedy "patrons," will grade competitors on a scale of 1 to 10 in three categories: originality and quality of material, stage presence and presentation or delivery, and audience response.

Each comedian or act will perform six times for the judges, 15 minutes each time. Preliminary rounds will be held Wednesday through Sept. 18 and Sept. 22-25 in the Comedy Gallery, upstairs from JR's at 11th and LaSalle, Minneapolis, and the Crocus Cabana, downstairs at McCafferty's, 788 Grand Ave.

The six finalists will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Riverview Supper Club, 2319 W. River Road N., Minneapolis.

The Class AA competitors, besides Hodgson and Gerbino, are Ed Fiala of Chicago, the only comedian in the competition who has appeared on Johnny Carson's "Tonight" show; Frank Hooper, also a Chicagoan and a comic impressionist who worked with nationally known Martin Mull on a cable TV special, and Jeff Wayne, a veteran of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Laff Off and a guest on TV's "Nashville Palace."