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Comic From “The Hangover” is Tops in Votes
The Improv's Up Yours Comedy online contest voting ends with comedian Keith Lyle receiving most votes
By: Keith Lyle
Having appeared in several commercials and TV shows, he is best known for his 4 line role as the snarky 21 dealer in the Golden Globe winning film “The Hangover”.
Getting the most votes hadn't occurred to him. “I never thought, in my wildest dreams, that I'd be number one,” said Lyle. “I am fortunate to have a great group of family, friends, and fans. I can't thank everyone enough. One of my comedy dreams will come true. I'll get to perform at the Improv Las Vegas.”
The contest was the brainchild of legendary Improv Comedy Club owners Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow. The two have a history of finding the “next big thing” in comedy. All one has to do is go to Hulu.com and search “Evening at the Improv” to find many of the world's top comics doing their first television gig. The internet was a logical place to start looking, and continue with the tradition.
The contest rules were simple. The comedians post their stand up videos at www.improvcc.com and spread the word. Voters had to register their email address or facebook account with the site and were only allowed to vote once per day. The top 3 vote getters got automatic entry into a final Showcase. Also invited to perform are 2 comics chosen from the top 4 to 20, and one at large from the rest of the contestant pool. The over all Up Yours contest winner gets a $25,000 contract from the Improv and a meeting with APA Talent Agency. The showcase is April 1st at the Improv at Harrah's on the Las Vegas Strip.
Lyle is social media savvy, having over 46,000 twitter followers. “I also have accounts on just about every site on the internet. I still have a MySpace account, but I only use that to talk to teenagers,” Lyle joked. “I've spent way too many hours getting to know people I have never met. I have liked their pages, tweeted their messages, and voted for them in their contests. It was time to call in some favors.”
He didn't just use social media to get the word out. “I made a lot of phone calls. Sent a lot of emails. I did everything short of stand out on the Las Vegas Strip and hand out cards next to the porn peddlers,” Lyle said. “For a competition like this, you have to think outside the box.”
While working on the film “Get Him to The Greek”, Lyle got heavily involved with Twitter. “I was working as Jonah Hill's stand in on the movie. I had just signed up for this new think called Twitter,” Lyle recalls. “I said to Russell Brand 'I just tweeted you'. He asked me my handle and tweeted my name in a message. All of the sudden, thousands of his fans are following me. I spent the week as a liaison between him and his fans.”
It was a crash course on how to handle yourself online. “I saw what P Diddy was doing,” said Lyle. “He had a guy with a laptop following him around. His only job was to get Diddy's message out via the internet. It was at that point I realized that social media was not something to be taken lightly.”
Lyle got started in comedy late in life. He was working in Las Vegas casinos, ironically, as a dealer. “I'd joke around with the guests all day, every day. If there weren't any guests, then I'd goof on my coworkers,” Lyle remarks. “I started getting my nerve up to get on stage. It was something I always wanted to do. The more I did it, the more I wanted to do it. It went from a dream to a passion. Now it's a career.”
He recently was touring as the feature act with Don Barnhart, another contest finalist. They performed to sold out shows across the west, including a special “Salute to the Troops” in Colorado Springs.
You can see Keith Lyle in the finals for the Improv's Up Yours contest is Sunday April 1st at 8pm at the Improv at Harrah's in Las Vegas. Visit www.improvcc.com for more information on the contest and www.funnykeithlyle.com for more on Keith Lyle.
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Keith Lyle was born and raised on the mean streets of Chicago. Well... It was the suburbs, but it was still tough. His house was filled with the loud, loving tirades of his family. Having been immersed in a 2 parent home, the yelling never stopped. Because of this, he had a difficult time fitting in at school. Realizing that making people laugh is truly a gift that keeps on giving, Keith began to develop his strong sense of humor.
Keith's quick wit and topical material take you from the front page to inside his head, and the depth of his family's dysfunctions
He has been in several commercials and TV shows. His biggest role to date was having 4 lines in the blockbuster movie “The Hangover”. He may have had more screen time as a dead body on CSI, but hey- it's 4 lines in a better movie than Tom Hanks made that year.