Friday night we saw a hipster get shot in the back, an incestuous time traveler get in a sword fight, and four men try to punch each other in the balls repeatedly. It was all part of night three at the Charleston Comedy Festival.
The weekend schedule is so jam-packed it’s hard to choose between the various acts performing across the city. We chose to keep it simple and camped out at Theatre 99 for the evening.
Chicago duo Tulle opened things up with a set of short-form improv. It was great to see CCF vet Jet Eveleth (The Reckoning, I Live Next Door to Horses) on stage again, and she was joined by fellow comedienne Sarah Fineout. Although there were some difficulties hearing them in the first few scenes, as the characters got wilder — like a pregnant girl wedding dress shopping and drinking with her best friend — they got louder.
The Chicago invasion continued with a rambunctious, fast-paced show from Michael Pizza. When we interviewed member Brett Elam a few weeks back, he emphasized how much fun the four friends have on stage, and that was obvious on Friday. Their enjoyment of each other was contagious, and the crowd ate it up, whether the guys were posing with a dead body or playing statues with small genitalia. A running theme seemed to be attempting to hit each other in the nuts, but when we ran into member Josh Logan at Mellow Mushroom’s L’After Party, he said they’d never done that before. Somehow we don’t believe him.
Theatre 99’s second show of the night started off with POSE Magazine starring Sue Galloway. She kept the audience laughing with quirky scenes — like a hipster so concerned with her Walkman she doesn’t realize she’s been shot — interspersed with short videos. A goofy workout video with limb-cracking instructions had us cringing and laughing at the same time. But the best scene was at the very end, when she played a crazed stalker who misunderstood the point of karaoke.
After POSE, Two-Man Movie improvised an entire movie based on an audience member’s suggestion of a song lyric: “South of Hell.” The first few minutes were a bit confusing as the pair frantically sketched out the plot, but then they got to work “filming” each scene, playing various hilarious characters while filling in the visual details with vivid asides.
As the shows started letting out, festival artists and fans streamed into the upstairs bar at Mellow Mushroom for the L’After Party. We spotted the Day Camp Kids, Phat Beethoven, Jet Eveleth, Sandino, Michael Pizza, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, and a few other acts. Chatter around the room told us Skinny Bitch, T.J. Miller, the Shock T’s, the Reformed Whores, and the Pushers all offered some top-notch shows.
Saturday is the final night for Comedy Fest, so be sure to get out there for some funny fun times.