CMT revives “Next Big Comic” contest for “Big New Comedy Week.” Meet the 12 finalists for 2011

CMT has brought back its Next Big Comic online voting competition, with these 12 comedians asking for your votes each week during the next month:

Andrew Norelli, Cy Amundson, Keith Alberstadt, Tom Segura, Kelly MacFarland, Nate Bargatze, Andy Sandford, Tim Harmston, Matt White, Sean Keane, Andy Woodhull and Michael Palascak

How'd this dozen make the cut? They were hand-picked by Rooftop Comedy.

‚ÄúWe are thrilled that footage from Rooftop‚Äôs standup comedy library is once again helping CMT find America‚Äôs NEXT BIG COMIC,‚Äù said Tom Hill, COO of Rooftop Comedy.  ‚ÄúFilming 365 nights a year from comedy clubs all over the country creates an opportunity to see comics as they are about to break out.  And it‚Äôs exciting that CMT viewers can view that footage at and determine who is going to be the next big star.‚Äù

The contest will narrow the field from 12 to eight by next Monday, then from eight to four on Feb. 21, with the final four getting three weeks to get out the online vote. A winner will be named March 14. Last year's winner was Pete Lee.

The end of the contest will coincide with CMT's "Big New Comedy Week" of specials, which includes Melissa Peterman: Am I the Only One? airing March 12; True Blue: Ten Years of Blue Collar Comedy, airing March 13; Blue Collar Comedy: Ten Years of Funny, also airing March 13, reuniting Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy before a live audience in Nashville with host Jaime Pressly; and several old specials from the Blue Collar gang, Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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