Two Edmonton comedians vie for national championship
Sterling Scott and Kathleen McGee are among the 18 SirisXM Top Comic semi-finalists
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Living in Edmonton is a hurdle for many comedians who want to hit the big time, but not for Sterling Scott.
Scott has lived in Edmonton for his whole comedy career, and after flying out to Vancouver for a showcase he’s ready to make his hometown proud vying for the title of SiriusXM Top Comic.
“Definitely we have a strong scene. It’s just that we are not represented in the country as much,” said Scott, who is one of 18 comedians in the semifinals.
Qualifying showcases were held in Vancouver and Toronto.
“It’s not designed for us in the west to win. But the mistake they made was letting one of us win. And now we can win,” Scott said.
Scott, who hosted last weekend’s CariWest festival, is working on a show for star comedian Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud network set to air in 2018, based on a dating game he hosts at On the Rocks in Edmonton.
He’s also acted on and written for This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Scott previously made the Top Comic finals in 2011, but no one from Edmonton has ever come out on top.
This year he said the stars seem to be aligning, as the finals will be held on Sept. 28 in Toronto – which marks his mom’s birthday and his 10th year as a comedian.
“If I make it to the finals now I definitely feel that I’ve come a long way, and that what I can do on that stage is certified enough for a win,” Scott said.
The six comics with the most online votes will move on to the finals, as well as two selected by a panel of judges, so competitors are into the self-promotion stage.
Edmonton expat Kathleen McGee, who now lives in Vancouver, is also vying for the top spot and is up for the challenge.
“I’m shamelessly using my cute dog in posts. I’m doing a lot of online posting at live shows, I’ve been handing out cards so people can remember my name,” McGee said.
“The fans don’t normally remember our names, they remember our jokes.”
The winner will get $25,000 and a spot at three major festivals, including Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival, and will also be featured in a spot on the Comedy Network.
McGee, who has opened for star comedians including Russell Peters and Hannibal Burress and runs a podcast called Kathleen McGee is a Hot Mess, said she would use the money to launch a national tour and bring along some of her own favourite comedians.
“If they can keep voting so that I can get to the final, I promise I’ll come back and have a party in Edmonton if I win,” she said.
Voting ends Friday, Aug. 18.