TBS’s ‘Tournament of Laughs’ makes comedy into a sport

“Comedy is now a sport”

That’s opening tag line in the teaser for what might be one of the more intriguing TV shows of the summer season, as TBS announced this week ‘Tournament of Laughs’ will debut on June 21st as a single-elimination bracket-style competition. It’s ‘March Maddness’ with humor. We don’t have sports so maybe watching some of the funniest people on the planet duke it out is the next best thing.

Unlike other televised comedy contest shows like ‘Last Comic Standing’ which usually attempts elevate working and touring comedians to a national television exposure, this new series will focus many comedians you may already be familiar with from TV and film. ‘SNL’ alum Jason Sudeikis will host and the show will feature stand-up sets, but the competitors will also have to produce videos,song parodies, and other comedic challenges. After each episode the audience will vote on who advances.

Deadline is reporting that the tournament will feature a legit cast of comedy stars with Jeff Ross, Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Judah Friedlander, Michael Rapaport, Jim Norton, Fortune Feimster, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Natasha Leggero, Cameron Esposito, Godfrey, The Sklar Brothers, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Josh Wolf, Clayton English, Yamaneika Saunders, Gina Yashere, Tim Dillon, Moshe Kasher, Jessica Kirson, Paul Rodriguez, Sarah Tiana, Matteo Lane, Beth Stelling, Vladimir Caamano, Ian Edwards, Aida Rodriguez, Megan Gailey, Preacher Lawson, Piff The Magic Dragon, and two more comics to be named.

Several Chicago-bred funny professionals are represented our region Megan Gailey, Mateo Lane, Cameron Esposito, Matteo Lane, and Beth Ste;ling have all spent years crafting their acts around town.