On Saturday, May 4, some of the Pacific Northwest's funniest people will take the stage at the Egyptian Theatre as part of The Stranger's Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy showcase. Andy Iwancio! Dan Hurwitz! Chris Mejia! Monica Nevi! Juno Men! Bernice Larson! Kermet Apio! And headliner Sam Miller! Plus, the whole night will be hosted by Emmett Montgomery, beloved weirdo, host of Friendship Dungeon and Joketellers Union, and one of 2023's Undisputable Geniuses.

It's going to be very funny! I hope you come! Tickets are available here! Exclamation points!

This week, ahead of the show, we're gonna get to know all the comics. First up is Andy Iwancio! Iwancio founded Queers to the Front, the weekly comedy open mic night at Comedy/Bar, and released her comedy album Better Living Through Femmistry on Kill Rock Stars last year. 

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How does it feel to be declared an Undisputable Genius of Comedy?

I'd be lying if I wasn't a bit excited. I know the title from its Portland incarnation, and how much the silly superlative annoys some comics. It's nice to finally hear people say, "THIS *asshole* is a GENIUS?" and have them mean me.

You released a comedy album, Better Living Through Femmistry, on Kill Rock Stars last year. And this year you’re also playing Fest, the legendary punk festival in Florida. I love that your comedy—and comedy in general—aligns with music and punk culture as much as it does. Was that something you set out to do or did it organically happen as your career grew? 

I am a big music dork, and getting to release something on KRS means a lot to me. It’s very surreal. I have always been in like very different scenes, like punk, backyard wrestling, and also rave. The throughline is that DIY energy. It very much so was a conscious effort to pursue that in my comedy and my goals. The album is meant to sound like an old alt-comedy album or a punk 7-inch split. Doing the Fest is absolutely the pinnacle of the ethos. The li'l ska nerd in me is picking it up in ecstasy.

Some people ignore online trolls—I have a little plaque at my desk that says “DON’T READ THE COMMENTS”—but you aren’t afraid to engage with them. Have you ever turned a troll into a fan? 

I entirely go into those confrontations with the intent of getting some silly interaction and material out of it. I grew up on forums, newsgroups, and listservs, and I think I feel some sort of kinship to those kinda dorks in a way. I can usually end up agreeing with trolls on stuff and they HATE that. “You’re not wrong…” is the biggest “fuck you” to them.

The show is at the Egyptian, which is rumored to be haunted. Do you believe in ghosts?

For sure, I believe in them. I have put on shows in the basement of the Rendezvous for years. Sometimes you can be alone in that grotto room, but it feels completely full with people all around you. Spooooooky.

From the outside looking in, it looks like Seattle’s comedy scene is really thriving, maybe the most robust it has been in years. Does that feel accurate to you? 

Yes! There are so many laminate scenes that it can be hard to see or can feel like you are forgotten by everyone as it isn’t the monoculture it once was. There are more POC comics than ever, so that alone is really rad to see and speaks to our health.

What’s your favorite place to see comedy in Seattle right now? 

There are so many places now—I do Laughs and Comedy/Bar a lot and recommend them the most. However, I did a DIY house show in my living room, so I will say that is my favorite place. Cannot argue with a comfortable toilet and enough handy weed edibles to bring Bradley Nowell back from the dead.

The Stranger presents the 2024 Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy Sat May 4 at the Egyptian Theatre, 8 pm, $25, 18+. Tickets are available here.