The Kings of Comedy


From left: Janet Song, Greg Watanabe, Michael Hornbuckle, Michael Villanueva and Peter J. Wong of the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors celebrate their victory. (Photo by Brian Corpuz)

Rafu Staff Report

The 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, an Asian Pacific American comedy troupe, won the fifth annual Sketch Comedy Championship Finals held Nov. 10 at the World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles.

This year’s finalists also included Projekt Newspeak and Too Sketchy. Each group was given 12 minutes to perform.

“We elected to perform two sketches, ‘Illegal Immigrant’ and ‘APA History Month,’ both written by Michael (Chih Ming) Hornbuckle,” said Greg Watanabe of the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. “In addition, each group was given one of four different sketch topics 24 hours before the competition. Our topic was ‘law’ … Michael wrote a sketch called ‘Cop Cop Cops.’ ”

In addition to Watanabe and Hornbuckle, the sketches were performed by Michael Villanueva, Peter J. Wong and Janet Song.

“We’re very excited to win again — we won the first year of the International Sketch Championships,” said Watanabe. “It was a great night with an energetic, enthusiastic crowd. We had a great time hanging out with the other sketch comedians and meeting the judges and hosts.

“I’m personally excited that two of the groups performing were Asian Pacific Islander American (the other was Projekt Newspeak) and that the material we performed wasn’t an embarrassing parade of racist Asian stereotypes.”

The winners will receive meetings with top Hollywood agents, A-list managers, and network executives and producers, plus an opportunity to create for the Internet channel

“The purpose of this competition is to bring raw talent to Hollywood and open doors for these amazing performers,” said Mo Fitzgibbon, executive producer.

This year’s judges were Hollywood producer Cindy Cowan; network producer from NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” Peter Engel; actor and comedian Chris Williams; and comedy pioneer Kiki Melendez. The event was hosted by Chris Judd.

Founded in 1994 in San Francisco, the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors are known for their live shows as well as their YouTube videos, which include “An 18MMW Thanksgiving Special: Illegal Immigrants,” “History of China in 31/2 Minutes,” “Rush Limbaugh and Proper Chinese,” and “Amy Chua: Tiger Mom!” The group was also the subject of an Emmy-winning documentary, “The Mighty Warriors of Comedy.”

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