Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mike Polk to judge hastily made Positively Cleveland contest he inspired

Positively Cleveland has picked five judges for its Hastily Made Tourism Video contest -- and one of them is Mike Polk, the comedian whose YouTube rips into Cleveland inspired the competition.

Polk's hilarious faux-tourism videos spread across the Web as virally as swine flu this spring, attracting 1.2 million views between them. Their focus on our city's poverty, job loss, drifters, seagulls, dead fish, and cloud cover surely convinced an unknown number of those viewers to never visit, no matter what Drew Carey once told them. So our city's actual tourism bureau, acting on the optimism embedded in its name, came up with a contest -- first revealed on this blog! -- to attract funny, clever videos that might actually convince someone to vacation here.

Polk, proving he can take and make a joke, has agreed to judge the finalists. The other four judges are Plain Dealer reporter and Tipoff funnyman Mike McIntyre, Marcie Goodman of the Cleveland International Film Festival, Ivan Schwarz of the Cleveland Film Commission, and Rick Batyko of the Cleveland Plus Marketing Alliance.

The public will choose the finalists by rating and commenting on their favorite contest videos at this YouTube site. The contest has 22 entries -- visit the site today and tomorrow to check them out.

The two winners will be announced Thursday at 2 pm.

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