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Ex-Affirmations CEO hits Vegas

By |2018-01-15T15:44:06-05:00April 26th, 2012|News|

By Crystal Proxmire

Thousands of fans across Michigan and beyond supported comedian Leslie Thompson during the Improv Up Yours Contest, a month-long comedy contest won through online votes. After online votes were tallied at the end of February Thompson came in 3rd place, earning her a guaranteed spot in the live portion of contest in Las Vegas. “I owe my friends and family a debt of gratitude,” Thompson said, referring to loved one’s putting up with endless vote reminders.
Thompson was flown to Vegas to perform at Harrah’s casino resort on April 1, alongside several other winners of the Improv Up Yours Contest.
Comedian Thompson was Affirmations’ longest standing CEO, running the community center for nearly 11 years. Thompson retired in 2011 and began pursuing a career in comedy soon after.
“After five months of voting and nearly 19,000 votes it all came down to six comics and eight minutes of funny. Well, that’s what we thought until moments before the show started when we were told seven minutes instead. It may not sound like a big deal but when you have memorized eight minutes of material and then, suddenly, you are told to take out a minute it causes a little bit of anxiety. At least for me. But adjustments were made by all and we prepared to perform,” Thompson recalled.
“I drew the five of spades, making me fifth in the line-up. I was thrilled with the spot. Actually, anything other than going first I would have been happy with. I was really happy with my performance and I got great feedback from the judges.”
They had all the comics come back on stage and announced the bottom two: Keith Lyle [the online voter’s top contestant] and Comic TLC. Next to step back, and in 4th place, was Don Barnhart, Jr. Next to step back was Rob Little [another Michigan contestant] for third place. At this point I was somewhat stunned that I was in the top two! Alas, I came in 2nd to Karen Morgan, and according to my family and friends in the audience, she was hilarious.
“It was a blast,” Thompson said.
It was also a great boost for her career, since the former-community-center-director-turned comedian has already gotten new gigs out of it. Keep up with Leslie Thompson and her blossoming comedy career at

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.