Jakey Emmert took home the title of Twin Cities Funniest Person Tuesday night at Acme Comedy Co. in a promising evening that suggests the future of local stand-up is in good hands.
Each of the six finalists got a scant three minutes to show off their stuff and Emmert took full advantage with a high-energy set about his homosexuality. Everyone scored points, but Emmert stood out with his ability to whip up the sold-out room (As one of the judges, he scored highest on my ballot).
In addition to the title, Emmert took home $1,000. The finalists who watched the headliner act, Wendy Liebman, also got something valuable: Some key lessons on how to do it right.
I'm not sure why Liebman isn't a bigger star. Maybe her delivery and subtle jokes aren't broad enough for a commercial audience. Whatever the case, she deserves better. Anyone starting off in comedy can pick up tips on how to nail a joke with confidence and polish. The "Minnesota Nice" audience seemed to throw her a bit and she wondered aloud why more people didn't want to converse with her. But she didn't give up and her persistance led to some great ad-libs with the shy crowd.
Liebman is at Acme through Sept. 8. Future contenders for TC's funniest person should rush to check her out.