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LA, Ep. 22

June 26, 2013 — After 2012's grand epic, Literary Death Match made its fateful return to the Hammer Museum, where a monsoon of literary and comedic fireworks were fired off. The finish: a "Fun in the Sun Quiz of Death" that saw Douglas Kearney outduel Iris Smyles 13-12 in a wild quiztastic finale that scored Kearney the LDM LA, Ep. 22 crown. Although sharing in the evening’s jubilance, some were disenchanted to realize the only difference between Bukowski and Britney is hair extensions and regular facials.

But before the thinking caps were donned for the finale, the night kicked off with author Iris Smyles (author of Iris Has Free Timea prime example of metafictive autobiography recommended by none other than Diane Keaton). Smyles shared a chapter about her experience teaching students Dante’s Inferno, based on faulty recollections from high school, cliff notes, and the ability to deflect all serious questions like a badminton bird as she invites all her students to give themselves the grades they think they deserve.

The mic was then handed over to Anna David (New York Times best-selling author of Party Girl, Bought  and They Like Me, They Really Like Me). David entranced the crowd with a new and witty work that roller-coastered around and kept the audience on the edge of their seats. 

Literary Merit judge Ron Carlson (an award-winning short story writer and novelist Ron Carlson Writes a Short Story) encouraged David to expand on her piece, Maribeth Monroe (an actress/writer/comedian featured in Comedy Central’s Workaholics, complimented Smyles’ foxy bottoms and after a heartfelt and somewhat heated discussion Round One went to Smyles.

Andres du Bouchet (comedian/actor and staff writer for CONAN) burst out with the bell into Round 2 with a riotous story about his Crazy Actress roommate who mistook an innocent bodily function for a door buzzer.  Upon hearing the term “Crazy Actress” Monroe alternated between purring and vague threats of violence, intangibles judge Kyle Dunnigan (Inside Amy SchumerReno 911! & co-host of Professor Blastoff) chimed hilariously in thinking of du Bouchet as a literary-hopeful construction worker. 

Grabbing the mic, Douglas Kearney (author of Fear, some and The Black Automaton finalist for the Pen Center USA Award) hypnotized the audience with an intense poem/spoken word barrage detailing black blue bottom babies leaving them breathless before breaking into a much lighter piece on the Middle Passage. Carlson remarked on his “scuttling claws” quote as coming from the whitest poet who ever existed.

Though all agreed that du Bouchet had been visual and riotous, the adrenaline injected by Kearney carried the day.

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced quiz-based final. Kearney rocketed to a quick 12-0 lead by correctly guessing the first line attached to three different novels without even a hint. But Smyles stormed back during the Daddy Issues segment before Kearney clamped down in the Literature v. Idiot segment to win by a narrow 13-12 count in a suspenseful finish that won him both the LDM LA, Ep 22 crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

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