Creative Mornings Charleston asks: Can we be shocked anymore?

Shock Talk

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Creative Mornings Charleston (CMCHS) joined the other 130+ creative morning-affiliated cities in the world this morning hosting a talk on Shock from comedy duo Nameless Numberhead. 
Maari Suorsa and Henry Riggs - SEAN MONEY + ELIZABETH FAY
  • Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay
  • Maari Suorsa and Henry Riggs

Henry Riggs and Maari Suorsa, who met while studying comedy in Chicago, make up the comedic duo. Riggs hails from Charleston and the two now live here, performing every few weeks at Theatre 99 and at Redux's new mixed-bag comedy show, Rip City. 

The pair performed some improv and a sketch and walked us through the thought process behind their comedic creations. They essentially said that 21st century consumers can no longer be shocked, demonstrating this point both through a game with contestants determining if a news headline was "real" or from the "Onion," and through a sketch where a man claims to be very ill from all of the world's shocking news (i.e. "When I saw those Donald Trump quotes, I couldn't breathe.")

The two told us what we think we already knew — comedy doesn't have to be shocking to be funny. It just has to be honest. Some things to keep in mind if you're looking for laughs: don't go for a quick joke right off the bat, improv (or hey, even story telling in general) is a game of heightening and using shock to build on shock, and do whatever it is you do the best way you can do it. Simple enough? Riggs and Suorsa assure us that improv and sketch comedy are not that simple — they wouldn't have studied the art for five years if that were the case.

"A lot of censoring goes into being uncensored," says Suorsa, noting that a well-placed F bomb can make or break a joke. Paul Roof, the inveterate wise bearded professor, mustache supporter, seller of koozies, and a member of CMCHS, piped up with a Robin Williams example of this same point: his golf joke is funnier with profanity

You can catch Nameless Numberhead at Theatre 99 tomorrow at 10 p.m. and next Wed. Oct. 28 at Redux at 9 p.m. 

The CMCHS crew also plugged their usual sponsors this morning — thanks Spoleto Fest USA for the space and the swag bag — and allowed 30 second pitches. One was for an upcoming art exhibit, Straight from the Heart. Artists for Emanuel, a collab among local artists, Coastal Community Foundation, the Gibbes Museum of Art, and Colour of Music, are hosting an art exhibit in the Cigar factory on Nov. 10-11 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Lowcountry Unity Fund which, according to their website, "will support programs that foster a climate of love, equality, and progress for many years to come." Despite the exhibit's name, the fund is not directly associated with Mother Emanuel AME church — rather, the idea of unity is inspired by this summer's tragedy. 

Another pitch from Lowcountry Local First talked about their buy local block party, coming up on Nov. 21 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1630 Meeting St. We went last year and it was great — our only advice is to get there before the beer runs out, which is also our advice for any party. 

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