Rising fees, a worsening job market and destructive wildfires notwithstanding, UCSB students now have something to laugh at – their very own top-ranked comedy troupe.

UCSB’s stand-up comedy team has made it through several rounds of national competition and is now among the final eight universities vying for the title of funniest college stand-up and a $60,000 grand prize. If it qualifies, the university’s comedy troupe will compete in the finals for RooftopComedy’s National College Standup Competition at the Aspen RooftopComedy Festival in Colorado.

The contest, which hopes to flesh out the funniest collegiate comedians in the country, has been ongoing since February. Of the 32 participating schools, only eight remain. Teams are judged by audiences across the country, via an online voting system. Those wishing to vote can do so at www.rooftopcomedy.com/college/standup.

The round of eight consists of an old-fashioned comedy roast. Each team has submitted a short clip on the Web site mocking their opponent and rival, and the winner of each pairing will go on to Aspen and the finals. UCSB’s rival is UC Berkeley.

Team member Greg Pappas, a fourth-year business economics major, said Cal’s academic prestige made them an easy target.

“If it was a competition of creepy, overly intellectual people who aren’t even remotely close to being funny, I would say our chances of beating Cal would be pretty slim,” Pappas said.

Fellow team member Jeffrey Urrea, a fourth-year film & media studies major, said he firmly believes that UCSB has the upper hand, not only because of its funnier team, but also because the competition doesn’t seem to understand the rules of a roast.

“Cal’s team just spoke to the camera with weird, awkward jokes,” Urrea said. “One of their team members doesn’t make fun of us at all. This is the first case of a [Cal] student not doing their homework.”

Ultimately, though, Urrea said it came down to experience.

“I don’t know of any other college that does a weekly standup show like ours,” Urrea said, referencing the weekly shows put on by a group called Laughology. “[It] is why I feel we have a very strong advantage and the skill to win this whole competition.”

The current round of voting will close on May 18 at 12 p.m.