How does Gong work?


To get the maximum sized audience, before we launch into Gong, we’ll have a warm up act or two.


The judges have the real power in this show. Once selected only the judges get a vote. They can use any method they like to decide how to vote. They can listen to the audience, their table mates, or trust their instincts.

Selecting the Judges

We use a (not very clever) random process to pick four members of the audience to be the judges who will ultimately pick the winners. Each judge is handed a ping pong bat (or other cheap toy from a $2 shop) to signal their vote.

Round One 

Each comedian starts giving a 5 minute “set”. If a judge doesn’t want them to continue, they can raise their bat. Once 3 bats are raised the sound of a gong is played and the comedian stops.

A score keeper records how long before the comedian went before being stopped. If they last the whole 5 minutes, the number of raised bats is recorded.

At the end of the round, the score keeper announces the comedians with best 4 scores who become the semifinalists.

Tie Breaking Round One

If more than one performer is eligible to be the 4th ranked semi-finalist. The judges are asked to pick between them. on a simple vote.


The semifinal is designed to be short and brutal. Each semifinal is a head-to-head contest where both comedians deliver either 5 one line jokes or a minute of comedy material then the judges vote one to go through to the final.

As always judges can vote a contestant to be gonged off.

A score is awarded depending on how many jokes they got to deliver & how many judges wanted them gonged off.

If the judges are tied, the rounds one & two scores decide & if that’s a draw a coin toss chooses the finalist.


Each finalist delivers a 5 to 10 minute set, then the judges vote.

As always, the judges can gong the finalists off if they choose.

If the judges are tied, a count back on scores in previous rounds decides the winner. If it’s still a draw, it’s declared a draw.

Open Mic

After the winners are decided, we’ll throw open the mic for anyone who wants to tell a few jokes, time permitting.