'Trials By Laughter' Participants Biographies

Morty’s Comedy Joint on the northside hosted comedians from across the country as they filmed their Comcast tv series, “Trials by Laughter,” a competition to determine who is the best at Morty’s. While nine comedians competed in the Nov. 6 semi-final, only three competed in the finals.

Mitch Burrow lives in Los Angeles, but drove to Indiana for this competition at Morty’s. Burrow comes up with the most of his material while driving to and from gigs. He says that if he can make himself laugh at a joke, he can find a way to make it funny to others.

“I remember seeing stand-up comedians on late night and thinking they were geniuses, and that I would never be able to do that,” Burrow said. “Then [at] my first open mic I did well and thought, man, I must be a genius.”

After serving in the United States Marine Corps and deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, he got a manufacturing job in Seattle, and made over six figures a year. He started performing stand-up as a hobby, but it quickly became all he wanted to do. This led to him leaving his job, because it interfered with him getting on stage.

“I could keep working and making more money, or I could just focus on comedy full-time and survive and enjoy it more,” Burrow said. “I just had to make the decision. I had to take a chance.”

Since making the decision to be a comedian full-time, Burrow has had numerous opportunities to get on stage across the country. He has performed in Atlanta, Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Seattle, New Orleans, and Mobile. He’s driven his Toyota Prius to all of them.

All of Burrow’s hard work appears to be paying off, as he is one of three comics competing in the final round of “Trials by Laughter.”    

Twitter Handle for Mitch Burrow: @MitchBurrow

Austin Reel, 31, didn’t make it to the finals. He lives in Westfield, Ind. and Morty’s is his home club. After being pushed by his friends to start being a comic, he hasn’t looked back. Reel has been doing stand-up comedy at Morty’s for four years. Getting his start at Morty’s open mic night, Reel worked his way up to being a featured act.

Reel’s material is based on experiences in his life.

“That’s where you’re going to come up with the most unique thing for you, a good third of my act is going to be about me being married,” Reel said. “Anything stupid, that people for some reason keep doing, I think that is hilarious.”

Reel is performing at Morty’s in his own feature show on Nov. 27 and 28.

Twitter Handle for Austin Reel: @AustinReel

Andrew Frank, 22, lives in St. Louis, Mo., and does stand-up full-time. Frank grew up at a Christian school, where he performed in multiple talent shows. While he had to censor himself for the shows, it taught him how to tailor his jokes to his audience.

He was also inspired by watching his dad stand in front of a pulpit every week.

“My dad is pastor so he was up on stage a lot,” Frank said. “And I realized everything he said was bullshit and that I should get up there and say some other stuff.”

Because of comedy, he has traveled across the country from Anchorage to New York City and he even performed to Vancouver, Canada.

Frank loves to learn and considers himself a student of comedy. His twisted view on reality is reflected in his jokes, ranging from Fox News and his dad, to pokemon and “older women.”

Find Andrew Frank on Facebook.

To find out who won the “Trials by Laughter,” check out Comcast on-demand in February 2016.