There are a lot of prestigious awards in the Twin Cities, celebrating arts, music, and comedy.
The Reapies are not a part of that list.
What started as a tongue-in-cheek joke event has transformed into one of the most anticipated events in Twin Cities comedy. Although it's still a complete joke.
This Sunday, Grumpy's in downtown Minneapolis will play host to the event, which is spearheaded by Comedy Corner Underground's head promoter Bob Edwards.
"This is probably the least serious awards show you'll ever see," says Edwards. "It's just a fun party that brings all of the comedians in the area together for a fun, weird, stupid night."
While Edwards can't recall exactly when The Reapies began (he estimates either 2009 or 2010), he remembers that the name was conceived from Grumpy's weekly Death Comedy Jam open mic night.
"The Death Squad named it The Reapies because it was originally hosted by the Grim Reaper," says Edwards. "The guys who do that show still put together the categories, and then I usually add a few additional stupid ideas."
The event has taken on a life of its own, with more than 200 people attending last year's event. While The Reapies brings together the very best comedians in the area, Edwards says that some of the humor could be lost on outsiders.
"There are some inside jokes that non-comedians might not get," he says. "We've got awards for 'smoothest genitals' and 'win a date with Phil Kolas,' so the jokes are definitely aimed at the comedy community."
Still, Edwards admits that awards like Best Comic and Best N00b carry more weight than others, as winners are local talent who have earned the respect of their peers.
"I tell people not to take any of the awards seriously," he says. "But those two are actually sort of a big deal."
Other categories in this year's Reapies include everything from Best Joke to Most Likely to be Murdered in an Alley Alone.
Though the content is beyond ridiculous, the event itself is probably the classiest night of the year for the otherwise motley crue of comedians.
"We encourage formal attire," says Edwards. "Last year guys wore tuxedos, and women wore gowns. It's much nicer than any comedians would dress onstage."
The event is free to attend, and voting will be open pretty much up until the event day. And while comedians wait with baited breath to see who will take home the most prestigious awards, Edwards insists the best moments of the night will be reserved for the most bizarre.
"Win a date with Phil Kolas is a real award," Edwards laughs. "I think that's probably going to be the most important award of the night. That or Best Sense of Smell. I wanted to bring a turkey vulture to the show in case it wins, but apparently that's really illegal. So I have no idea what's going to happen."
That pretty much sums up The Reapies.
IF YOU GO:
Sunday, June 7
8 p.m.; free
Grumpy's Bar & Grill