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Perry Top Turkey

Performing for the first time in front of her parents, Chelsea Perry wins the Palm Beach Improv's Turkey Contest

by Chuck king

WEST PALM BEACH – Less than four months after stepping behind the microphone for the first time, Chelsea Perry earned the kind of recognition most comics never receive.

On Thursday the 27-year-old Perry won the Palm Beach Improv’s Turkey Contest, taking home $100 and a 15-pound turkey.

“I’m super excited,” Perry said. “It’s kind of validating as a new comic to win something. It just forces me to want to keep working hard, going hard at the mics, practicing, getting better.”

In a contest open to local South Florida comics who don’t have weekly paying gigs, Perry defeated 14 other contestants to claim the top prize. In order to take the stage, comics needed to bring at least 10 audience members to the show.

Audience vote determined the winner.

She’s new to stand-up comedy, but Perry does boast a comedic background.

As a student at the University of Michigan she wrote for the university’s student publication The Michigan Every Three Weekly, a satire magazine similar to nationally known The Onion.

“I’ve been working my comedy writing muscle for a while, now I’m trying to work on my performance muscle,” Perry said.


To learn to flex that comedy performance muscle, Perry took Ramon Garcia’s stand-up class at the Palm Beach Improv in August.

As could be expected at such an early state of her career, Perry admitted to being nervous upon taking the stage on Thursday.

It didn’t help Perry’s nerves that her parents and many friends were in the audience watching her act for the first time.

“I told them, ‘Do not sit in the front’ – and they sat in the front,” Perry said, “They had one job and they did not do the job.”

Seeing her family front and center rattled Perry a touch in the opening moments of her routine. After resetting herself on stage, Perry flowed through her set admirably.


“It takes a lot of courage to get up there,” said Scott Perry, Chelsea’s father and guardian of the prize turkey. “It was good to see. I hope she continues to stick with it.”

Earlier this month the Improv franchise held two Turkey contests in the newly opened Dania Improv and another at the Miami Improv.

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