LaughFest student showcase on Sunday | News
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- This past week of LaughFest has featured plenty of adult humor, but now it's time for kids to take the stage. They'll look for laughs at the Middle and High School Student Showcase on Sunday.
Area high school and middle school students have been working hard for the past month on stories and short essays. 310 students submitted their work, and this week, judges picked 40 pieces as winners.
One classroom of kids got help writing their jokes from a local stand-up comedian and sports writer.
"What would a hamster, who does karate, who would he fight?" asked Allen Trieu to a 5th grade class at Northern Trails 5/6 School in Forest HIlls.
At 27-years-old, the Grand Rapids stand-up comedian and sports writer for FoxSports realizes 5th graders probably have a better answer than he does. But his job on this day is to help these students turn their jokes into award-winning funny poems.
"I think the first kid I asked for a topic, he said 'I'm writing about a hamster that does karate,' which is completely outside my frame of thought. So immediately I was brought back to being a kid and ok, this is how they think," said Trieu.
He says it's quite different than how a stand-up comedian thinks.
"They're not talking about their fiances or girlfriends," he said. "I had to rewind and put myself back in the mind of a 5th grader again."
Their minds are on...
"Neon gummy worms, you have a lot of color, I wonder if you eat a lot of colored butter," said one student, who his poem aloud to the class.
Trieu picked a pronoun from each poem, then asked the class for ways to spice the rest of the sentence up.
"There has to be some kind of resolution, or at the end, something has to happen, right?"
To get to this point, he challenged the kids to come up with a list of ideas.
"You really have to really think outside the box."
Trieu told the students they need to research their topic, even if it is just about hamsters.
"It's funnier when you're clearly versed on the subject."
But he said, most importantly, keep re-writing.
"As a kid, I was very into the idea of just writing it in one sitting and leaving it, this is good enough. But I think they're seeing, you can work on it over time."
You can catch the LaughFest Middle and High School Showcases on Sunday at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The middle school winners will be announced at 4 p.m., and the high schoolers will be announced at 6 pm.