The 2008 San Francisco Comedy Competition began the first of two preliminary weeks on Wednesday. Comedians begin in groups, performing six shows in six cities across Northern California in five nights! Each comic gets 5-7 minutes in the prelims. The top five of 16 in each group advance to a week of semis (where they get 10-12 minutes), and the top five from there get another week of final competition (sets up to 15-20 minutes), with a winner crowned Oct. 4 (see schedule).

The folks at SFstandup will be keeping track in their forums.

Brent Weinbach has won the first two nights of preliminary action. Anyone surprised at all by this? Anyone? Expect to see him in California for the rest of the month.

Week One contestants: Tyler Boeh, Boston; Boone, San Francisco; Rick D’Elia, Reno; Jason Downs, San Francisco; Peter Greyy, Seattle; Kyle Harbert, Portland; Dax Jordan, Portland; Chris Karney, San Francisco; Tracey MacDonald, Los Angeles; Jason Resler, Sacramento; Christian Reyes, Reno; Andrew Santino, Los Angeles; Jose Sarduy, Miami; Murv Seymour, Tampa; Bethany Therese, Los Angeles; Brent Weinbach, San Francisco