It's by no means a comprehensive list, but these are the shows comedians and audience members mentioned as among their favorites in 2017. In no particular order...
1. 50 First Jokes, January 2017
50 comedians get one minute to tell their first joke of the year. 2017 was the debut of this show in Columbus, and many comedians still tout it as their favorite.
2. The Roast of Tiny, August 2017
One small dog. A bunch of comedians. Free-flowing insults. The Roast of Tiny took one mutt to task to raise money for another dog's medical bills and the result was pure magic.
3. An Evening with the Burkey's, Monthly 2017
You can't ask local comedians about a "best of" moment in Columbus comedy in 2017 without getting at least five of them to mention this show. This newer show, happening at Kafe Kerouac on 1st Fridays is a favorite for its intimate stage, unorthodox lineups and amazing hosts.
4. Wonder Doug's Rise from the Ashes, September 2017
He's one of the most beloved comedians in the city, and after an extended break this past spring and summer, he made a triumphant return to the stage with a truly memorable show. Featuring standup, burlesque and music, this show was simply an outpouring of love for a guy who creates so much opportunity for other people.
5. Thanks Obama 2, January 2017
ShadowboxLive's Brandon Anderson and Hashtag Comedy's Joseph Moorer put their comedy brains together for the second installment of their "Thanks Obama" show. The show featured sketches, standup, improv and music by people of color and with a sold-out, packed house, it was one of the funniest and best experiences of the year.
6. Stand Up for Choice, Quarterly 2017
This quarterly show (we can't pick just one) has an energy that can't be matched anywhere else in the city. Whether it's the standing room vibe of Ace of Cups, the tight line-ups or the cause, Stand Up for Choice consistently delivered a truly entertaining and irreverent comedy romp.
7. Lucky Ladies, March 2017
This yearly all-female lineup never fails to deliver, but this year's show reached next level status. Between the killer lineup, the fresh sets and packed house, it's one more show that proves that funny women in Columbus are rad.
8. Midnight Comedy Party Power Hour at Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival, May 2017
The Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival is gaining steam year after year, and this past year featured one of the best moments in Columbus comedy: 60ish comedians doing 1 minute of material or less and getting hammered in the back of a tattoo shop.
9. Hot Dog!, Monthly 2017
It's a hot dog eating contest meets standup comedy show. Need we say more?
10. TBD: the Musical "Look Out! An Iceberg!", December 2017
This improvised musical consistently packs in the audiences, but this particular show in early December 2017, featuring local musician goddess Counterfeit Madison, was made of pure magic. A powerful opening and closing number, heart wrenching love songs, shipwrecks and reprises...oh my!
11. Deuces Wild, Monthly 2017
Yep, this show is on every list we've made so far. Are you pickin' up what we're dropping here?
12. HashtagMania IV, April 2017
40 improvisers, 8 teams, red carpet, musical intros, text to vote...this show has it all. The 4th iteration of HashtagMania IV was the best yet...so big and bad and over the top, in fact, it's 5th installment will be held at the Columbus Museum of Art in April, 2018.
13. Improv Wars Finals!, October 2017
Four improv team finalists battled it out to be the funniest in this text to vote competition...but the icing on the cake this year was the surprise engagement at the end of the show.
14. "That one weird semi-private Beef Ghost house show", November 2017
All we know is that it took place at Amber Falter's house, it had a quirky lineup and those who were there will never forget it.
15. "Columbus Comedy Illuminati" Columbus Riot Facebook Group Post, December 2017
A lone comedian posts a thinly veiled dig about comedy lineups in the city. What happens next can only be categorized as a true social media monster: nearly 700 comments, two Facebook pages, a Twitter account and a website spawned in the wake of the original post. Names were called, accusations made and the "Columbus Comedy Illuminati" was born.
Bookers and comics alike discussed what it's like to do comedy in this city, how far we've come and where we hope to go. Many gifs were posted, jokes made and grievances aired. Overall, hours were wasted, much fun was had and we daresay some inspiration was felt.
Word is still out on whether the original poster has booked any shows.
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