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South Florida Embrace

Local comics not surprised by the rise of America's Got Talent contestant Cam Bertrand, flood to PB Improv to show support.

by Chuck king
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WEST PALM BEACH – South Florida comics arrived en masse on Wednesday to revel in the triumphant return of one of their own to the Palm Beach Improv.

Cam Bertrand, the reigning Florida’s Funniest Comic and current America’s Got Talent contestant, didn’t disappoint.

“I’m ecstatic,” comic Eric Rosenblum said. “I’m so happy for his success.”

The several hundred attendees for Wednesday’s show included more than one dozen comics crowded into the back section of the Improv to support Bertrand.

“I love comedy,” Bertrand said. “I’m a stand-up’s stand-up, so the goal is for other comics to respect your work. When they do it just feels good that comics want to see your work because I remember when I first started, I wanted to see all my OGs and other guys and I wanted to see what they were cooking up so that I knew where I was. For other comics to come out and show love and support and really want to see my set, that’s just crazy to me because I remember being that guy. To be on the other end of it feels really good.”

Bertrand is in the midst of a life-changing set of weeks.

Last week his audition video aired on America’s Got Talent, the NBC-broadcast national talent show.

In its first two days online that video drew more than 1 million views. It’s quickly approaching the 2 million mark.

“You like to see good things happen to nice people like that,” said Rene Harte, partner at the Palm Beach Improv. “He deserves it.”

Bertrand’s sudden rise isn’t all that surprising to most South Florida comics. It isn’t all that sudden, either.

Though only 27, Bertrand has already been performing stand-up comedy for the better part of a decade. During that time he’s worked alongside some of South Florida’s best local comics.

Many of them, including local headliners Nadeem Awad and Jackie Sanchez, predicted years ago that Bertrand would become a national player.

“I met Cam in 2019 and he was an absolute killer comic – the kind of comic you’d watch and you’d know you were going to see somewhere else, somewhere bigger,” Sanchez said. “It’s not even unexpected. We were waiting. Now it’s happening and we just get to watch it. We’re happy about it. Everyone’s happy about it.”

Bertrand isn’t letting his national success cause him to forget his Florida roots. Prior to Wednesday’s show he joined Sanchez and Stephanie Wood for their Chick Ten Hun Must podcast, which Sanchez expects to drop on Friday.

He then headlined the Laughs on Blast show co-produced by Ryan Scott and Corey Cognac, for which Awad featured, Hennessy Williams performed and Nileja hosted.

On Wednesday Bertrand didn’t reprise the “Always Getting Carded For Liquor” bit that drew raves in his AGT appearance, but he did entertain with tales of hippos, bad decisions in small ponds, and his unexpected pre-show wardrobe change.

Though widely known and respected in South Florida, Bertrand, technically, doesn’t hail from South Florida. He’s a Tampa native, which helps explain the slight Southern drawl in his delivery.

Still, South Florida comics consider him one of their own.

“I don’t give a sh*t if he’s from Tampa,” comic Charly Esturihlo said. “He came down here and he’s hilarious. That’s awesome. I’ll take him as a Floridian comic. If we can claim him as one of our own, too, that would be great.

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