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Contest is just right for those with a funny bone

So you think you’re pretty funny? Then here is a contest that might be right up your alley – or in this case, right up your water way.

The Carnival Comedy Challenge, which has been showcased on CNN and MSNBC, is going to be in St. Louis today and Wednesday scoping out new comedic talent. Up to 100 comedians will be highlighted in the contest for a comedy gig aboard a Carnival cruise ship. The event is open to the public.

A group of industry judges will choose 10 finalists and the audience will select a winner. The judges include Brian Heffron, president of Heffron Talent Agency, Chris DiPetta from AMI, top talent scouts from Carnival as well as comedy club owners.

The grand-prize winner in St. Louis will receive a chance to perform on board a Carnival cruise ship with round-trip transportation, accommodations and meals included.

Proceeds from the event benefit Laugh for the Cure and cancer research.

The challenge is the brainchild of Atlanta resident Al Ernst, a comedian who performs on Carnival cruises. Ernst, who got his start 15 years ago by winning a guest talent show on a Carnival cruise, appears regularly at comedy clubs across the country and has performed on numerous television comedy specials. He is a former professional wrestler and batboy for the Chicago White Sox.

Ernst is to serve as emcee at the St. Louis event, which will be at the West Port Funny Bone, 624 West Port Plaza. Their phone number is 314-469-6692.

Auditions will be at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. today with finals at 8 p.m. Wednesday. There is no charge to participate in the preliminary rounds. Participation in the finals costs $9 per person.

For more information, visit the Carnival Comedy Challenge Web site at www. carnivalcomedychallenge. com.

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