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SF, Ep. 58

January 31, 2015 — Literary Death Match returned to Elbo Room for an all-star laden celebration that spun wigs with a rollicking night that finished in sudden-death overtime as Jeff Greenwald outlasted Leo Bryant in a blazing game of Original or Adapted? to win Greenwald the LDM SF, Ep. 58 crown. 

But before the finale was even a consideration, the night kicked off with Greenwald, monologist and best-selling author of Shopping for Buddhas: An Adventure in Nepal, who performed an entrancing story about being in Iran to witness the eclipse of the sun. Next up was Zoe Youngplaywright and fiction writer, who stormed back with a story of an orgy and a man of the cloth overhearing everything. 

The mic was then passed to the trio of all-star judges: Jordan Bass, executive editor at McSweeney'sGeorge Nachtrieb, founder of parody industrial behemoth YD Industries; and Zahra Noorbakhsh, comedian, SF Grotto member, star of New Yorker-praised solo show All Atheists Are Muslim. The trio cracked brilliantly wise, praising both writers' excellent work before deciding it would be Greenwald who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

After a brief intermission, Round 2 kicked off with  Leo Bryant, performance poet and 3-time Grand Slam Champion, going off-mic to who wow with a pair of poems about superpowers and weight. Finally it was Jamieson Bunn, fiction writer in Vermont's MFA program, who wooed the crowd with striking prose that had every audience member wide-eyed.

Again the judges were center stage, and after dropping hilarity bombs and praise, again they were faced with an impossible decision. But after a difficult deliberation, they decided it would be Bryant who would advance as the night's final finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's Oscar-themed finale: Original or Adapted? Zuniga held up movie posters of Oscar-winning films while Bryant and Greenwald (paired with past LDM champs from Philadelphia and Oakland who were plucked from the audience) guessed if they were original or adapted, and then guessed who wrote them. With everything to play for, and the final question posed, it was Greenwald who guessed the tie-breaker question first, winning him the LDM SF, Ep. 58 crown, and literary immortality to go with it.