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LA, Ep. 34

December 10, 2014 — Our final US Literary Death Match of 2014 at Largo at the Coronet was a yuletide-riddled affair with so much merriment and levity, wigs literally and literarily spun. In support of NoMore.orgthe brilliant night ended with Sarah Colonna outdueling Héctor Tobar in a 20 Questions finale to win Colonna the LDM LA, Ep. 34 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with a brilliant duo of readers, starting with Aisha Muharrar, writer/producer for Parks and Recreation, who read her fictional story (fantasy?) of meeting Jon Cusack at a Jamba Juice, kicking off a relationship that ended after Muharrar emotionally tortured Cusack by insisting he reenact his boom-box-over-his-head scene from Say Anything. Next up was Héctor Tobar, award-winning author of The Barbarian Nurseries, who read from his nonfiction masterpiece Deep Down Dark, taking us inside the soul of his depressed character, Edison, as he faced death in the darkness of a coal mine, who won the audience over with Edison's dismal thoughts on such things as "the permanent darkness and deafness of death," and, "...complete and utter darkness. That's where you really feel you're in hell. That's where hell is. In the darkness."

Then the mic was handed over to the trio of all-star judges: Scott M. Gimple, executive producer/writer for The Walking Dead and Ghost Rider: Spirit of VengeanceCaitlin FitzGerald, co-star of Showtime's Masters of Sex, and writer/star of the film Like the Water; and Michaela Watkins, writer/co-creator of USA's Benched; actor on ABC's Trophy Wife; SNL alum. Amidst a sea of wit, irreverance and thoughtful commentary, Watkins noted that Tobar's "Edison" character faced death in the dark versus that other Edison, first-name Thomas, who invented the light bulb. Amazing. After a huddle, and Gimple's explanation that this was really a case of apples and oranges, the trio decided by the narrowest of margins, that it would be Tobar who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

Then came a stellar Round 2, in which Sarah Colonna, comedian/writer/Chelsea Lately regular and NYT best-selling author of Life as I Blow It, came out words-blazing as she read from her all-new Has Anyone Seen My Pants? (out March 2015), an excerpt from when her grandfather passed away, and she felt "really, really single" and while getting ready for the funeral she decided taking a cat with her for company would be rock bottom, so she got a bikini wax instead. Finally it was Josh Sabarra, producer, marketing executive, and the author of the all-new Porn Again: A Memoir, who reeled off a touching story about taking the tap dancing lessons his parents would never allow him as a child, and how the arguments with his parents weren't over his sexuality but how much he spent on gay porn: "It's the same penis going into the same hole," his father said.

The mic was once again handed back to the judges. With another impossible decision before them, FitzGerald engaged in a mini tap-dance duet between with Sabarra, while Watkins reminisced about how her Mom gave her this post-breakup encouragement: "Some day, you're gonna make a great step-mother." In the end, the judges decided it would be Colonna who would advance as the night's final finalist. 

Then up stepped host and LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's finale: Literary 20 Questions, in which Tobar and Colonna each held pictures of a popular author/lyricist/actor-in-a-literary-movie/fictional figures to their forehead and asked the audience yes/noquestions, trying to figure out who they were. After storming to a big lead, Colonna was able to hold on for literature's ultimate victory, winning her the Literary Death Match LA, Ep. 34 crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

Follow us on Twitter: @litdeathmatch

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