The 10th annual Charleston Comedy Festival ramped things up Thursday night with a handful of shows at Theatre 99 and the American Theater. We camped out at the American to get a big dose of stand up comedy from Timmy Sherrill, Kenny Zimlinghaus, and the crew of The Most RACES Show on Earth.
Following a last-minute schedule change, Sherrill stepped in to fill the void of Nicky T. The Wilmington-based comic won the Charleston Comedy Festival Stand Up Competition a few years back, and it's clear he's been practicing his craft. He talked about going through the Taco Bell drive-thru on a bike while under the influence (this turned out to be a common theme for the night) and farting, among other things.
The headliner was Kenny Z, a former Charleston radio personality now based in New York. The comic has the distinction of performing at every Charleston Comedy Fest thus far, so he admitted to being a little disappointed with the audience turnout. (Don't worry, Kenny, we're sure tonight will have a better crowd.) We hung our heads a little when he complained about City Paper's focus on his "fat kid jokes," but when he delved into the fat jokes about midway through the show, we didn't feel so bad. That said, let's put it on the record right now that Kenny does more than fat jokes. He also likes to talk about crazy James Island people, jerking off to pigeons, and tickling (which he calls laugh rape).
By the time that show wrapped up, a huge line had already formed for The Most RACES Show on Earth. Led by Neil Bansil, a Filipino/Canadian now living in S.C., the show features four comedians who aren't afraid to talk about race, culture, and some really random stuff as well.
Former City Paper intern Evan Berke made us proud by talking about buying weed, TV church, and dropping his cell phone in a porta-potty (and yes, he attempted to retrieve it). Atlanta's Rob Haze riffed on Harry Potter reality shows, the elitism of Instagram, and vacuum cleaners. New York's Puerto Rican/Italian Gina Brillon told an anecdote about a shifty-eyed toddler on a flight. And Clayton English talked about zombies and superpowers. Obviously, the focus wasn't really on race, but the comics kept the crowd laughing no matter how random they got.
Kenny Z will be back at the American tonight, but MRSOE is done. Lucky for you, there's still lots more going on for the next two days. Check out the schedule here. And don't forget the L'After Party at Mellow Mushroom.