‘World’s Biggest Improv Tournament’ close to crowning new champions

They started with 90 competitors. Now, there are just a handful of finalists.

Comedy Duo doing a skit for an improv tournament.
A comedy duo, Shaun Hunter(left) and Alfred Chow(right) is performing a skit in the 'Worlds Biggest Improv Tournament.' (Brian Edwards) 

Four comedy duos will compete at the end of April in the final round of the “World’s Biggest Improv Tournament.”

The competition started in January, and in total, ninety duos showed off their comedy styles. Each performed for seven minutes to create some entertainment for the audience and judges, who voted them on to the next round — or not.

This is the sixth time that Beer-Beer Comedy is holding this tournament at the Social Capital Theatre on Danforth Avenue.

“It’s one of my favourite things,” Antolis Varkaris, the host of the World’s Biggest Improv Tournament, said. “Getting to witness so many different styles of comedy is a treat.”

Varkaris competed in the event in its earlier years before taking the role of the host. He said it was a ‘blast’ competing, but loves being the host even more.

Toronto’s comedy scene inspired tournament

Matt McCready, the producer of the event, said the idea of the event had come from the inspiration of other Toronto improv tournaments. He loved the idea of an improv tournament and tried to create the biggest one possible.

“I always felt that there was just some elements missing from [the other tournaments],” McCready said.

Toronto is home to many different comedy clubs such as Yuk Yuk and Comedy bar. SoCap Comedy is one of the comedy clubs located in Toronto. The club’s venue is called the Social Capital Theatre. It is a venue that helps showcase many different comedy acts and events, including the World’s Biggest Improv Tournament.

Some notable people who have competed in the improv tournament are Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Lisa Gilroy and the late Tony Rosato of Saturday Night Live.

Matt McCready, the producer of the event(left), and Antonis Varkaris(right) posing for a picture at the ‘World’s Biggest Improv Tournament.’ (Brian Edwards)

In previous years, the tournament had 128 teams compete but this year, 90 teams took part.

“A lot of people moved out of the city and many people didn’t start doing improv or comedy after the pandemic,” McCready said. “I think we might be able to get 128 once again next year, but who knows?”

The winners are selected by Varkaris and McCready, while the audience is also allowed to select two teams of their choice. Voting slips would be given out to the audience before the start of the event.

The duos who don’t advance receive CAD $100. In the finals, the third and fourth place teams will receive $200, and the second place team will receive $250.

The winners of the tournament will receive a grand total of $1,000 and have their names burned into the Frank McAnulty Cup.

The finals will be taking place April 30 at SoCap Comedy Theatre at 154 Danforth Ave. The event begins at 8 p.m.

To purchase tickets for the event, you can find details on the SoCap Comedy website or the eventbrite page.

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Posted: Apr 19 2023 9:00 am
Filed under: News