austin black picThe Speakeasy Laugh Hard Challenge is a stand-up comedy competition where comics from around the Midwest compete for the win. The first round of preliminaries was held Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Circa 21 Speakeasy, 1818 3rd Avenue in Rock Island.

Hosted by James Draper, there were 14 comedians in the first round. Judges included Tiffany Lundberg from WHBF, Brett Hitchcock, owner and operator of the Speakeasy, and Andrew King, host of weekly shows at Boozies in Davenport as well as the former host of the Quad-Cities only live late night talk show The After Hour.

The comedians who attempted the challenge were Todd Willhite of Sherrard, Illinois; Mike Adrales of Davenport; Ty Wilson of Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada; Brandon Gale of Rock Island; David Terrell Green of Omaha, Nebraska; Kil Theodrick of Omaha, Nebraska; Heather Nobling of Orion, Illinois; JC Totton of Davenport; Austin Black of Davenport; Matt Owens of Cedar Rapids; Jake McDowell of Rock Island; Matt Gerdes of Lowden, Iowa; Tyler Walsh of Stanhope, Iowa; and Josh Staley of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The five finalists chosen for the finals on August 20 were Brandon Gale, David Terrell Green, Kil Theodrick, Tyler Walsh, and Austin Black. The finals will take place at 7 p.m. and you can get your tickets at the Speakeasy, $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

For more information see www.thecirca21speakeasy.com.

Cyndi Hartley is a single mom who enjoys spending time with her son and three cats. She lives a boring life.