Wyatt Cenac isn't on Twitter. He makes notes on his phone instead as a "depository for half-baked ideas." After all, he is a stand-up comedian. "Why would I be on Twitter when I can gather a few hundred of you in a room and just tell you?" he explains. "Hash-tag: 'Thank You'."
Former Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac kicked off the Charleston Comedy Festival with some of his queued up Tweets, riffs on why festival sponsor Guilty Pleasures seemed to get more applause during the intro than the venerable City Paper (who can blame them?), and calls for gender equality in our nation's nightclubs. With a decade of laughs under its belt, this year is the first time the Comedy Fest has hosted a blockbuster kick-off show, Theatre 99's Brandy Sullivan and Greg Tavares told an excited crowd of about 500 at the Charleston Music Hall.
First off, this is not your Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac. Dressed, as he put it, "like a bike shop employee," Cenac appeared decidedly more Brooklyn (his home turf), than John Oliver, the Comedy Central colleague he worked alongside for five years before leaving the show last month. After years of awkward interviews with politicians and playing "Rappers or Republicans," Cenac is now writing in his own voice instead of John Stewart's version of an ironic Edward R. Murrow. Which is probably why Cenac's lines tended more toward ripping Trace Adkins for his custom confederate flag earpiece ("is there just some really hateful artist who only works in very small mediums?") and less toward the debt ceiling. Though Cenac did grouse about why, despite a flagging economy, some Kickstarter projects, like an interpretive dance tribute to Johnny Cash (turns out that's a real thing), meet their funding goal, "That's just country night at a hipster bar!"
Wrapping up his set and looking forward to this weekend, Cenac advised audience members to observe 'Dr. Marty's Day" with the "same disrespect as St. Patrick's Day." And maybe to take along a vegetarian, which he says he prefers to go drinking with, "because they're always three drinks away from a cheeseburger."
The Comedy Festival continues through Saturday, with shows across downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Visit CharlestonComedyFestival.com for more information.
We're gearing up for Comedy Fest over here at City Paper HQ, and one act we're really excited to see is the Reformed Whores. This pair of musical ladies won our hearts at last year's fest and then again at Piccolo Fringe with songs about STDs and drunk dialing. They'll be performing with Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting at Theatre 99 on both Friday and Saturday nights, but for a sneak peek, check out this video they just released about the secret life of females.
The Charleston Comedy Festival is gearing up for its 10-year anniversary in January, and to celebrate, they've put together one of the most exciting schedules to date. Hosted by Theatre 99 and the Charleston City Paper, the event welcomes comedians from all over the country for four days of funny. Past performers have gone on to make big waves in the comedy world, and this year's lineup includes a mix of well-established and up-and-coming talent.
As we announced earlier this month, The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac is the headliner this year, with just one show on Wed. Jan. 16 at the Charleston Music Hall. Tickets are on sale now. Some other big names on the docket include Michael Ian Black, Rory Scovel (who's set to star in a new ABC comedy), and Adsit and Eveleth, starring CCF favorite Jet Eveleth and 30 Rock's Scott Adsit.
Some of the most popular acts from the last few years are returning for another round, like the hilariously offensive Pushers, from Virginia. Former Charlestonian Kenny Zimlinghaus returns with some friends in tow, along with The Most RACES Show on Earth. The Reformed Whores and the Shock T's are back with their musical acts, and Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting — one of last year's buzziest acts — returns for more, too. Vic Henley and We're From Here are no strangers to CCF either.
Of course, the Fest offers plenty of fresh meat as well, like the Richmond Comedy Coalition, Airwolf, Clara Bijl, 2 Weird Ladies, and The Prom. We'll report more on them as we move closer to January. This year's event includes some new venues as well, like the Woolfe Street Playhouse and Redux Contemporary Art Center.
Tickets will go on sale soon, and if you buy early — before Dec. 31 — you can take advantage of the 10-year ticket promo, offering $10 tickets for select shows. Keep an eye on charlestoncomedyfestival.com for details.
You may know him as the teacher you always wished you had in The Dead Poet’s Society, or the manly housekeeper in Mrs. Doubtfire. And now you've got the chance to see him as himself. The Academy and Grammy Award-winning performer Robin Williams will be at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Fri. Jan. 25 for An Evening of Sit Down with Robin Williams as part of a 65-city tour.
Williams will be appearing along with Canadian comedian and director David Steinberg, who's best known for directing episodes of TV shows like Seinfeld, Friends, Mad About You, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In true sit-down fashion, rather than performing his usual stand-up routine, Williams will respond to a series of offbeat questions posed to him by Steinberg. Steinberg will ask Williams about his political views, his life in show biz, and his film career, plus plenty of other unpredictable topics.
Reserved seats go on sale Mon. Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Coliseum Advance Ticket Office, Ticketmaster outlets (including select Publix stores), charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com.