Ever wonder where the next generation of comics comes from? A good bet is the nominees list for the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award, the prestigious $2,500 career-booster named after the late, great Second City alum who liked helping out young talent. Having seen all five (I'm on this year's jury) -- Brad Hart, Linda Ellis, Kevin Herod, Rachel Cantelon and Tim Polley -- I'm confident they can hold their own at Sunday's (November 17) gala with polished acts like the Doo Wops, Winston Spear and MC Patrick McKenna. As they say in the song: Baby, remember their names.
How would you describe your humour? Ellis: A cold tongue to a warm nipple -- startling but enjoyable. Hart: Probably with semaphore flags.
You're the love child of two artists -- who are they? Herod: Ike and Tina Turner. Ellis: The Indigo Girls. Polley: Edgar Allan Poe and Shakira.
Why do you deserve to win? Herod: I know where you live. Polley: I have three months to live.
Why don't you deserve to win? Polley: I'm a manipulative liar. Cantelon: Agony, humiliation and defeat all equal new material.
What do your parents think of your career choice? Ellis: Who told them?! Cantelon: They don't mind my career choice. It's the comedy that worries them. Polley: They burned me in effigy last Thanksgiving.
If you win, how will you spend the $2,500? Hart: Pay my writers (oops!). Polley: Immorally.
Most embarrassing moment? Hart: That one time I thought I fit in. Polley: Asking co-workers if they'd seen my sunglasses, only to have them point to the top of my head and ask why I was naked.
All-time fave TV sitcom? Cantelon: The one based on my stand-up comedy, air date to be announced. Polley: Small Wonder.
If you were a porn star, what would your name be? Polley: See answer to above. Hart: The Cuddler. Ellis: Tighty-Whitey-Delighty. Cantelon: I'm not exactly comfortable being naked.
Who would your fan base be? Cantelon: People with dry humping fetishes. Hart: Guys like me: well-adjusted, gorgeous, self-assured.
Most interesting thing in your garbage can? Hart: A garbage can? When did I get so grown up? Herod: Pictures of your ugly-ass mama. I threw 'em away 'cause nobody would buy 'em. Polley: Love letters, old pictures, dead flowers, lit match.
Where do you wanna be in five? Ellis: At one with my Teflon. Hart: Interviewed by a paper that uses "want to" instead of "wanna."