The ComedySportz World Championship will be held in Chicago July 18-22! This event will bring players from ComedySportz in 20 other cities together to compete and see which team is the best in the WORLD. CSz San Jose’s Courtney Pong will be one of those players this July facing-off. We were able to talk with her about ComedySportz and the World Championship.
Courtney, how long have you been playing ComedySportz?
I’m in my 11th year. I started when a ComedySportz San Jose player moved back to his hometown in Modesto and started a team there. That wrapped after a couple of years and I ended up moving out to San Jose to finish my degree at SJSU and keep doing ComedySportz. I have not left.
What’s your favorite thing about CSz?
I love the people: those who enjoy it and those who do it. It’s that simple.
What’s your favorite thing about the ComedySportz World Championship?
Having a whole week of play! You’re around people whom you’ve been connected with throughout the year through what you do, WAY too many that you still haven’t even met yet – but bringing everyone together, it still feels like you’ve already met and known them for years. It’s an entire community of folks who support and accept, and welcome play.
What do you think is unique about your city's version of CSz?
We love our musical endings. The Les Mis ending finally came to fruition after about 5 years of talk and collaboration between various playerz. But it exists!
What’s your favorite game?
Say what now? I must know how that works.
I think it comes out of Halloween show. We always try to break out games that are spooky. Death Pendulum is one of those.
It’s not one that gets played in Chicago to my knowledge. How do-? Why do-? What is-? How....?
One team gets three different locations. Then someone in the first location has to find a way to die. The ref calls, “Switch,” and they go to the next location as new characters and they have to find a new death. The ref calls, “Switch,” then it swings back, until everyone’s dead in every scene. The ways that people find to die are great. It’s never been the same. People always find new, fun ways to die.
I love it. I have to play that now! Let me compose myself...
Hur-umph! Ms. Pong, I heard that you ref a lot of shows. Do you prefer that to playing?
I like both. My parents always tell me, “I like it better when you ref.” But like reffing. I love CSz,
I love the brand, what it stands for. I love the formula.Even getting people excited with the national anthem. It’s a finely tuned dance. Calling the game Forward/Reverse is like a symphony. A really good show means you won’t remember the ref and I’m fine with that. I love interacting with the audience and making sure that every section of the audience gets to give suggestions.
What does it mean for the CSz WC to be in Chicago?
We played you when we hosted in 2006. You guys brought it. Chicago always bring their A-game. You show up and in the moment and there to play. Also: a direct flight! Woooooo!
Ha! You mean because some of the smaller cities that have hosted the WC don’t have a direct flight from San Jose?
Exactly. Like, Quad Cities didn’t have a direct flight. I go usually go to the World Championship every other year. So far, that’s meant towns that don’t have direct flights. But they’ve all been so much fun! Almost, because the town doesn’t have as much happening it creates an atmosphere of everyone hanging out a lot more. It’ll be interesting to see how it works in Chicago.
What’s your favorite memory from a WC?
It was UNBEARABLY hot in the Indianapolis 2011 World Championship. The first night (it was way late into the night) we were all schlepping around the hotel, migrating from game room to hotel room to outside. Jessica Carson from ComedySportz Spokane texted me one word: “Pool.” Which could only mean one thing: she found access to the hotel pool. Within 10 minutes, about 12 + of us had changed and were running to and through another player’s room. Without saying a word, we all dove in and swam in the rooftop pool. I know for sure that Stephen Bennett (of ComedySportz Houston) dove in with his jeans on.
Now we have to find a pool to top Indy...
Thank you, Courtney! We can’t wait to see you at the World Championship July 18-21!