Spark Tabor Earns Title of Funniest Person in Columbus
After six weeks of preliminary rounds that narrowed a field of forty-eight local comedians down to twelve finalists, on Wednesday night Spark Tabor was named the ‘Funniest Person in Columbus’ for 2014. Ironically, Tabor, who has been performing comedy for just over three years, is from Cincinnati. Although, he has a lot of friends in Columbus and performs here whenever he has the opportunity.
Before a full house at the Columbus Funny Bone, hosted by comedian Dan Swartwout, Tabor beat out fellow comedians David Gamble, Paul Bearer, Gilli, Bobbie Dodds, Dorian Vasquez, Weston Sherman, Dave Burkey, Sommer Sterud, Leslie Battle, James A.R. Anderson, and Wonder Doug. Those twelve were narrowed down to a top four of Tabor, Sherman, Sterud, and Anderson, before Tabor was announced as the winner.
Tabor communicates his humor with a smooth, laid-back delivery that feels entirely natural. But comedy wasn’t always his path.
“I was super shy”, Tabor explained. “I had major stage fright until about seventh grade. Then I met a friend of mine that was the life of the party, and who everyone loved. And I just kind of mimicked his personality until I had my own. So that kind of switched me from being like, please don’t give me any attention to, I’m ready for this.”
Although Tabor was named the Funniest Person in Cincinnati in 2013, he had performed twice before at the Columbus Talent Search without winning or finishing in the top three. Therefore, regarding his goals for this year’s Columbus event, Tabor said, “I wanted to win this. I felt like I had enough skill to, so I just was like, let’s see if you can.”
By winning the Columbus Talent Search, not only does Tabor win a cash prize of $250, but he also will have the opportunity to open for a National touring act of his choice at the Funny Bone. While Tabor isn’t sure yet who he will choose to open for, he hopes that the opportunity will be the beginning of working toward his larger goals.
“I’d like to work the Funny Bones. Go Bananas in Cincinnati is my home club. It’s amazing. I love it. I love that club so much. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. But I can’t live off of one club, or a couple clubs. There are a lot of Funny Bones. So hopefully I do my week or whatever I get, and I do well. And they say, okay, well come back. And then eventually I’ll get to do another club, and then I’ll get passed to feature. However long that takes that’s my goal. And then to headline, obviously”.
While Tabor has big goals for himself, he comes across incredibly humble and down to earth. In addition to performing as a comedian, Tabor currently works part-time at Barnes and Noble and as a wedding DJ. To this point, in a statement that embodies both his humility and hilarity, Tabor said, “Comedy doesn’t come nearly enough to pay the bills. Not yet. Hopefully in the next two years I can get enough, not that I can live off of it, but that I can not die. To make enough to do that”.
To that end, Tabor continues traveling throughout the state of Ohio performing. In addition, he has performed at the Laughing Skull in Chicago, and will be going to Boston next week for a festival.
Tabor explains, “I’m just trying. It’s just effort, just getting out there. Putting myself out there, and getting rejected. And getting rejected. And, then, someone says Yes. And then that’s how this happens”.
While there might be debate on whether or not Columbus can be considered any type of comedy town, Wednesday night’s performances left no doubt that there are talented comedians in the city and around the state that deserve an audience.
When I asked Tabor about whether or not a comedian could make it in Ohio, he responded by saying, “If by make it you mean get on TV or movies, then you have to leave. There’s just no option. But if you mean make it as be a touring comedian that can support him or herself, you don’t need to leave. You don’t need to leave. That’s a lie if anyone tells you that.”
Still, Tabor does plan to eventually leave Ohio because he hopes to one day do some television work to help expand his platform as a comedian. But for now, Tabor will continue bringing his brand of humor to audiences around the Buckeye state.
“I’m not there yet”, Tabor said. “I consider myself to be among some of the better comedians in Cincinnati, but I wouldn’t put myself in that conversation for who’s the best. And I don’t think I should leave until I can at least be in the conversation.”
With the titles Funniest Person in Columbus and Funniest Person in Cincinnati now on his resume, Tabor is surely putting himself in that conversation.
More information on Spark Tabor can be found at www.facebook.com/SparkTaborComedy
More information about upcoming shows at the Columbus Funny Bone can be found at www.funnybone.com.
To view all upcoming comedy events in Columbus, CLICK HERE to visit our Events Calendar.