Dan Cole wins 2014 Acme Funniest Person Contest
Every summer, dozens of hilarious undiscovered comedians, wannabe open-mic kids, and drunken train wrecks take the stage at Acme Comedy Co. in hopes of being named the "Funniest Person in the Twin Cities."
After three months and nearly 200 entries, this past Tuesday the final five took the stage to decide who would walk away with $1,000 and the ultimate bragging rights.
Over the course of the past 20-plus years, the Funniest Person Contest has produced some of the most promising comedians to come out of the Twin Cities. The 2014 edition definitely delivered the same quality of comics, along with possibly the most diverse group of contestants seen in recent history.
In the end, Dan Cole of Bloomington snatched up the title, and kick-started his comedy career with one of the most impressive endorsements in the entire Minnesota comedy scene. We managed to score a few minutes of the 22-year-old champion's time immediately following his win, and learned more about his inspirations and what he wants to do next in his comedy career.
I've been doing standup for about three years now. I went to Iowa State and started doing comedy out there. There's a really good scene in Ames and Des Moines, so that's been where I've done most of my open mics and showcases.
Did you always know you wanted to do comedy?
Not at all. I was pretty reserved in high school, and it wasn't until college when my friends said I should try comedy. I also did some open-mic nights, when I was home for breaks and summer, that helped me get ready for this.
Was this your first time at Acme?
No, I actually entered the contest the past two years and made the top 25, but I never advanced beyond that. When I made it to the top 25 this year, I actually kind of thought like, "All right, I made it this far again." But this time I decided to focus on jokes that I found funny instead of playing to what I thought the audience wanted to hear, and it worked out.
What is it about this contest that kept you coming back?
The chance to perform at Acme has been so awesome. Everyone I've talked to in comedy has said it's the best stage in country, and I agree. Every time I've come off stage here, I feel like I can't wait to get back up there again.
What are your future comedy plans?
I want to stick around here until next summer and work on my comedy, and then maybe move to Chicago or Los Angeles.
Any big plans for that $1,000 in prize money?
I've got a friend in Sweden who I want to go see, and I think this money is going to help me get there.
To learn more about Dan Cole, follow him on Twitter at @dandruffcole.
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