June 7, 2012 — Before the filled-to-the-brim Comedy Studio audience, wit and whimsy were on recurrent display, with Grub Street instructor and short-story master Chip Cheek outdueling PEN New England Award for Fiction winner Anne Sanow (author of Triple Time) in a Author Jumble finale that won Cheek the LDM Boston, Ep. 8 crown!
But before the finale was even a consideration, the night kicked off with a male-v.-male round that showcased Timothy Gager (author of Treating a Sick Animal) leading off against Chip Cheek. Gager wowed with a performative wonderment about a therapist talking to a handful of patients (all of which made an on-stage appearance). Next up, Cheek read a scintillatingly told a love-type story about a boy and a girl (after she called him a fairy, he spit on her).
The mic was then handed to the trio of all-star judges, including the as-seen-on-Comedy-Central and one-act playwriting wizard Sean Sullivan, notorious illustrator and commentator of fancy Jen Hill (author of Percy & Tum-Tum), and Speakeasy Storytelling Festival performer/Ding Ho founding member/author DJ Hazard (author of The Grumpy But Lovable New Yorker Guide To Enjoying Life Even Though You are Broke... And Grumpy).
The three reeled off praise for Gager and Cheek, and were in a huddled deadlock on who would advance to the finals. When they finally broke up the rockpile, it was Cheek who was announced as the night's first finalist.
After a brief and boozy intermission, Round 2 kicked off with LDM creator Todd Zuniga and LDM Boston executive producer Kirsten Sims introducing the lady-v.-lady round with PEN New England Award for Fiction winner Anne Sanow (author of Triple Time) up against Boston Globe “Love Letters’” columnist Meredith Goldstein. Sanow led off with a bedazzling excerpt that had the audience on their seat's edge, followed by Goldstein who first chanced a brief excerpt from VC Andrews, before following up with an excerpt from her book, The Singles.
Again the mic went to the judges, highlighted by Sullivan's admission that he didn't belong amongst the smart set, then delivered an intangibles performance for the ages, using his time to talk about who he thought would win the Tony's. After another tough decision, the judges decided it would be Sanow who would advance as the night's second finalist.
Then Zuniga took center stage, explaining the Author Word Jumble finale, inviting volunteers on stage to hold letters while Cheek and Sanow took turns moving them aroun to spell famous author names. Cheek was unstoppable out of the gate and managed to scream out to a 2-0 victory before the audience could catch their breath. Sanow was a worthy competitor, but it was Cheek who stood proud as the winner of the Literary Death Match Boston crown, winning literary immortality to go with it.