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Go Comedy! Launches 3rd Annual Improv Tournament Today

Battle rounds will be held for 16 weeks, culminating with a grand-prize winner and the kickoff of Detroit's largest improv showcase.

in Ferndale is kicking off its third annual Bailout Improv Tournament Spectacular, featuring improv teams going head-to-head each Wednesday night for the next 16 weeks — and the madness begins today.

Here’s how 'BITS' works

Each team has just 22 minutes to show off their best skills to try to win the audience’s vote in order to advance to the next round. Eventually two teams will make it to the grand finale tournament that leads to a $1002 cash prize.

Teams from all across Metro Detroit will compete at 8 p.m. each Wednesday, today through Aug. 8, in a single-elimination tourney. At the end of the comedy hour, the audience will cast votes by secret ballot and the winning team will move forward. The audience favorite will be announced each week during the 9 p.m. show.

Here’s why you want to go

Not only does it make for a gut-busting midweek event around town, but the BITS hilarity culminates with the opening celebration of Detroit’s biggest comedy show, the 2012 Detroit Improv Festival. It’s set for Aug. 8-12.

The Detroit Improv Festival brings in troupes from all around the country for five days of shows, workshops and parties. It’s produced by the Detroit Improv Collective Incl., and nonprofit spreading the excitement of improvisational theater in the area.

The full schedule

The tournament kicks off this evening as Forever Fifteen goes up against The Flaccid Unicorn. The winning team will go on to round two of the tournament beginning June 20.

Here are the first-round battles coming up and the wise guys (and girls) behind the team names:

April 25: Forever Fifteen vs. The Flaccid Unicorn

  • Joe Hingleberg and Travis Pelto
  • Phil Bardaville, Jason DeSousa, Lori Frank, Krystal Janigan, Kevin Lytle, Shari Mocheit, Ashley Reuter and Alex Sanders

May 2: Buzzed Aldrin vs. Grandma's Meatballs

  • Buzzed Aldrin: Chris DiAngelo, Chris Petersen, Jen Bloomer, Jen Hansen, Michelle GiOrlando and Travis Pelto.
  • Grandma's Meatballs: Jon McCaffrey, Nathan Hughes, Alex Linebrink and Catie Tyzo

May 9: Mobius Strip Mall vs. Planet Voltron

  • Mobius Strip Mall: Pj Jacokes, Chris Petersen and Matt Naas
  • Planet Voltron: Jeremy Howe, Sam Nirmalnath, Kelly King, Jacob Russell and Emily Engelhart

May 16: Unknown, LOL vs. Soft Friction

  • Unknown, LOL: Paul Jonna, Chris Petersen, Genevieve Jona, Erik Heilner and Andrew Seiler
  • Soft Friction: Lisa Jacokes, Jeremy St. Martin, Amy Purcell, Alison Tomak, John Lewis and RJ Cach

May 23: Bobby Lamas vs. Achye Jay

  • Bobby Lamas: Stephanie Berner, Lucio Raineri, Julia Delekta, Robert Tscherniwetz and Tanya Sakleh
  • Achye Jay: Heather Sejnowski and Jeremy Griffin

May 30: Smunk vs. Question Marky Mark

  • Smunk: Clint Lohman, Dan Brittain, Ryan Parmenter, Andrew Seiler and Chris Petersen
  • Question Marky Mark: Aaron Johnstone, RJ Cach, Travis Pelto and Amber Hunt

June 6: Folds vs. Home School

  • Folds: Catie Tyzo, Tracy Allen, Steffie Berner, Amber Hunt, Hailey Zureich
  • Home School: Bob Wieck, Jen Bloomer, Brian Papandrea, Erik Heilner, Andrew Seiler and Dan Brittain

June 13: Man Hands vs. Clam Jousters

  • Man Hands: Jen Hansen and Carrie Hall
  • Clam Jousters: Lucas Villalpando, Chris Bibb, Corene Ford, James Cerini, Mark Onusko and Dick Ward.

Tickets for BITS shows are $7 and are available online at www.gocomedy.net or in person beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

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