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NYC, Ep. 40

November 10, 2011 — Before a lively crowd at Alphabet City's Drom (only feet from where Literary Death Match was conceived 68 months before), Literary Death Match NYC turned 40 episodes old, and finished with a breakneck ending in which Team Teddy Wayne out-Cyrillic'd Team Angela Lovell by a final score of 8-4, winning Wayne the coveted LDM crown. 

But before the Cyrillic-skewed Pulitzer Prize-winning names were even a thought, the night kicked off with New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones wittily delivering two lists that had the crowd tittering. Then up-stepped Moth StorySlam champ Lovell, who charmed with a story from her collection Mouseschawitz – My Summer Job of Concentrated Fun

The mic was then turned over to the first-ever four-person NYC judging panel, with superstars Rick Meyerowitz (co-illustrator of the brilliant New Yorkistan New Yorker cover), Sean Kelly (former National Lampoon editor, and Heavy Metal magazine founder), Danny Abelson (author of The Muppets Take Manhattan), and comedian Jena Friedman (writer for Late Show with David Letterman). The foursome doted on Frere-Jones' pace and surprise verbal twists, but in the end sided with Lovell's whimsy (though pretending it was her high heels that won it). 

After a brief and boozy intermission, Round 2 kicked off with Teddy Wayne (author of the novel Kapitoil — a 2011 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize runner-up) up against in-all-the-way-from-LA Jillian Lauren (author of New York Times best-selling Some Girls). Wayne showered the audience with clever jokes teased into his rich text, then Lauren delivered a stirring excerpt from her all-new novel Pretty, which left the judge's decision very much in doubt. 

Again the mic was handed over to the quatro of all-star judges, and after rollicking the crowd by relating Wayne to the American war hero Major General Anthony Wayne, and affectionately relating Lauren to Diablo Cody, only with a "cutter-vibe," the judges opted to send Wayne through to the second round. 

Then LDM creator Todd Zuniga bounced on to the stage, announcing a Cyrillic-Off, in which the two finalists were paired with volunteers from the crowd, and tasked with shouting out the names of Pulitzer Prize-winning authors whose named had been phonetically "cyrillic-ized." After Team Lovell stormed to a quick 3-1 lead, it was Team Wayne that caught fire, scoring seven of the final eight points to snare Teddy Wayne the Literary Death Match crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

Follow LDM on Twitter and/or Facebook now! 



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