Help Select St. Louis' Best Aspiring Comic

Apr 4, 2013 at 4:00 am
The Final Four, from left: Jon Venegoni, Emily Hickner, Nick Branson and Conor Hovis
The Final Four, from left: Jon Venegoni, Emily Hickner, Nick Branson and Conor Hovis

The call went out on March 12. For the second year Riverfront Times wanted to hear from the St. Louis comedy scene. This time around, we asked any and all local comics to tweet us something funny under the theme, "That Is So St. Louis."

Within 72 hours more than two dozen aspiring comedians shot us some 300 tweets, poking fun at everything from St. Louis' perverse infatuation with Provel cheese to our celebration of all things redneck (forgive us, hoosier) and our label as a tremendous place to become a victim of violent crime.

From those hundreds of tweets, RFT selected what we considered the funniest sixteen entries. Then we posted the "Tweet Sixteen" online in a bracket format and asked readers to vote for which jokes they thought were best.

From there it was on to the Elite Eight. This time we asked the winners of Round No. 1 to submit a short video telling us about themselves and what makes them so gosh darn funny. We posted those videos online and asked readers to vote for their favorites.

Now, at long last, we've arrived at our final four contestants (a.k.a. the "Final Four"). And once again Riverfront Times is seeking your help: The audience will play a major role in determining our champion when the Final Four square off against each other on Tuesday, April 9, at Plush (3224 Locust Street; 314-535-2686 or

The jokes get under way at 7:30 p.m., and if this year's Standup Throwdown is anything like last year's, we guarantee you'll laugh your ass off even if your favorite comic fails to take the crown.

RFT would like to thank St. Louis comedy producer (and funny woman in her own right) Kelsey McClure for assisting us in so many ways with this year's Standup Throwdown.

Here are your Final Four!:

Jon Venegoni

Are you anything like your zodiac sign?

Wikipedia told me that being a Gemini means that I am superficial, impulsive, restless, devious and indecisive, so I guess it's pretty accurate...maybe?

Describe your perfect sack lunch.

My perfect sack lunch would be a pint of Jim Beam, a pack of smokes, a PBJacon (PBJ with bacon), a banana and a Capri Sun.

What is the title of your sexytime playlist?

I have two favorite sexytime playlists. The first one is, "Hey, I swear this has never happened before," and the second one is, "The doctor told me it's not contagious."

Who is your hero?

My hero is Marmaduke because he never let his family get in his way of trying to do people stuff, and it's so damn cute.

Nick Branson

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Spider-Man or the pope.

Which holiday would you celebrate more than once a year if you could?

April Fools' Day.

How was prom?

You mean how were reruns of Beast Wars? I'll be in the shower crying.

If you could punch one fictional character in the face, who would it be?

Meowth from Pokémon or any character from Twilight.

Emily Hickner

What is the last word you had to google in order to spell?

My Google search history paints a bizarre picture. It appears it was Cro-Magnon. I wasn't sure if it was hyphenated.

At what price do you consider a cheeseburger expensive?

Any price because I don't like burgers. I've been called un-American because of it.

Do you believe in re-incarnation?

It weirds me out to think that there's an old soul in my cat's body, judging me. So, no.

If you could take the place of any First Lady in history, who would it be?

None of them. That would require me to marry a politician.

Conor Hovis

You've just arrived at the zoo. What do you go see first?

Pandas. No panda, no Conor.

What is the one vegetable your mother always insisted you ate?

She would just ask me if I wanted lettuce with my knuckle sandwich.

If you had to watch one movie on repeat for 72 hours, what would it be?

The Passion of the Christ.

The worst song you love to sing at the top of your lungs?

I'm having trouble answering this, because I only sing Nickelback songs, and they all rule.