LIVERMORE, CA – (August 31, 2017) – Known for launching such comedy greats as Robin Williams and Ellen DeGeneres, the annual San Francisco Comedy Competition fields approximately three dozen comedians judged over multiple weeks in multiple venues across the Bay Area. The Bankhead Theater will welcome semifinal contestants for the competition on Friday evening, September 22, 2017, in one of the last four events before final rounds at the end of the month. At just $30 a ticket for all seats, the event provides a night of laughter and a great opportunity for audiences to discover new talent or support rising stars in the comedy world. Tickets are available at $17 for students and active military personnel.

Now in its 42nd year, the SF Comedy Competition has served as a stepping stone for numerous comic legends, launching many of them to stardom, including Dana Carvey who won the competition in 1977 before going on to appear on “Saturday Night Live.” The list of famous runner-ups is long as well, and includes Robin Williams, who placed second in the competition’s inaugural year, and Ellen DeGeneres, who also just missed first place a decade later. Although contestants have come from around the country, a number hail from the Bay Area including several winners in recent years.

Long acknowledged as one of the hardest forms of comedy, the standup format of the San Francisco Comedy Competition is particularly challenging. From hundreds of applicants, approximately thirty comedians are chosen to perform short, three to seven minute sets in one of two preliminary weeks consisting of six shows in six venues. Each show has a unique group of judges who score the contestants in seven categories. Ten comedians proceed to the semi-finals for five more shows where the sets are slightly longer, and the top five move to the finals. After sets of 12 to 15 minutes are performed at the finals, the winner is announced. As they have been for the last two years, the sets held at the Bankhead will be part of the semi-final rounds.

Originally founded and held in San Francisco, the venues for the competition are now spread across the greater Bay Area and surrounding regions. Competitors must polish their sets for a variety of venues include comedy clubs, bars, restaurants, casinos and theaters such as the Bankhead, as well as for a range of audiences.

Now in its eleventh season, LVPAC Presents offers an extensive list of comedic performances in the coming months including Dave Coulier from “Full House” and Vicki Lawrence, known for her character Mama from “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Mama’s Family” in January, as well as the return of comedy groups The Second City in February and Capitol Steps in May. For the complete list of upcoming shows and events, visit

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater, which houses the Livermore Visitor’s Center and Gallery, together with the Bothwell Arts Center, are home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors. The Bankhead Theater ticket office at 2400 First Street in Livermore is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On performance days the ticket office is open from two hours before to 30 minutes after the scheduled start of each show.  Tickets are also available by calling (925) 373-6800, or online at

Event: SF Comedy Competition
Date/Time: Friday, September 22, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, Livermore
Price: All seats $30, students and active military personnel $17
Tickets: visit or call 925-383-6800