Drawing huge crowds on a traffic-clogged Black Friday, comedian Daniel Tosh nearly sold out a double-shot of shows at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Friday. Tosh is a stand-up veteran who’s worked for years on the national circuit. Some of his longtime fans were there to check him out, but the vast majority of attendees were recent converts who follow the performer's Tosh.0 show on Comedy Central.
At Tosh's second set, more than a few rowdy rednecks were already hammered by the time opening act Tommy Johnagin walked on stage. Johnagin, an Illinois-based stand-up with a nerdy look and a nasally delivery, started strong and quickly won people over with his smart anecdotes. His brief set was squeaky clean compared to Tosh's cheerfully politically incorrect material.
Tosh received a standing ovation after his introduction and immediately went into a slavery-based joke aimed at Black Friday and South Carolina's pre-Civil War history. Casually strolling around the stage, Tosh grinned through a quick-paced series of jokes and stories about doomed relationships, racial issues, big city crime, deaths in the family, the dregs of pop culture, the porn industry, the most boring and ridiculous chapters of the Bible, and various horrific world events.
Some of those expecting the typical goofy-but-naughty witticisms and bathroom humor of Tosh.0 were shocked and offended by the more insensitive and controversial punchlines (especially the bits about Osama bin Laden’s success, the older kids in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the silliness of Book of Revelations), but Tosh's delivery made even the most chauvinistic, racist, or seemingly anti-American rants seem funny. "I hate it when people say, 'There’s nothing funny about rape, AIDS, death,' or, 'You can’t laugh at [blank],'" Tosh said. "Of course there's something funny about it all. You just have to write the right joke." Most of his fans got it.