Wyatt Cenac’s sole Charleston Comedy Festival show is on Wed. Jan. 16, but there’s plenty more happening after he leaves town. Now in its 10th year, the fest stretches through Sat. Jan. 19 with more performances than your laugh box can possibly handle, from local favorites like Neckprov to national talent like 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit to returning faves like The Pushers. Getting the most out of the festival takes some planning. Here are our tips.
Buy tickets in advance. The most popular shows tend to sell out. We’re guessing tickets will be scarce to shows like RISK featuring Michael Ian Black and the Shock T’s — so don’t miss out. And be sure to get tickets to the Festival Finale on Saturday if you want to witness the insanity of dozens of comedians converging onto one stage. You can purchase them at charlestoncomedyfestival.com.
Load up at the ATM. So you took our advice and bought your tickets online beforehand. Good job. But you’ll still need cash if you plan to acquire that all-important ingredient of all comedy shows: Beer. Most of the venues will be selling Sweetwater and Yuengling Light as well as wine and snacks, so have some cash handy.
Know thy schedule. Listen: There are a lot of things happening during Comedy Fest. Multiple shows per night with multiple performers at each show. It can get confusing. Luckily, City Paper is publishing a comprehensive guide to the festival on Wed. Jan. 16. This includes profiles of each of the acts — from Airwolf to the Reformed Whores — so you can prioritize exactly what you want to see, and when. Be sure to map out your route for the night if you want to see multiple shows. We recommend sticking to the upper peninsula one night — PURE Theatre, American Theater, Redux, Woolfe Street Playhouse — and the lower on another night — Footlight Players Theatre, Theatre 99. There’s also a show at the Lighthouse at Shem Creek if you don’t feel like going downtown.
After the show is the afterparty. Find out if your favorite comedians are as funny in person as they are on stage by stalking them at the festival’s official afterparty spots. The biggest party is Friday night, because that’s when most of the out-of-town acts have arrived. And Saturday, because they’re all happy to be done. Check our website for information on the party locations next week.
See the full schedule and buy tickets at charlestoncomedyfestival.com, and keep an eye out for the release of our official guide next week.