Charleston's little ol' comedy festival keeps getting bigger and better, and this year is no exception — in fact, if we're going by headliners, this year's fest has grown three full sizes. Instead of a single big name, 2015's lineup includes the triple-threat of Hannibal Buress, Doug Benson, and John Mulaney. And though as of press time, Buress and Mulaney were both sold out, there are plenty of other shows that'll leave you crying with laughter, from the Underwear Comedy Party, where stand ups perform in nothing but their undies, to the musical comedy masters North Coast and Pop Roulette. Take a look in these pages to find the perfect performance to tickle your funny bone.
Cook County Social Club received a predictably warm Charleston welcome during Comedy Festival last year. It was their first time in town, but the dynamic foursome managed to sell out shows, steal hearts, and snag the cover of the City Paper. They expect no less this year. Especially the part about the cover. — Erica Jackson
Evan Bivins and Matt Bivins might have a few tricks up their sleeves for their homecoming performance at the Charleston Comedy Festival. Perhaps a vaudevillian rendition of a classic AC/DC track, a risqué song 'n' dance routine, some Rodney Dangerfield one-liners. But most likely, they'll be up to something more elaborate. — T. Ballard Lesemann
We'll never forget Elephant Larry, the five-strong comedy team from NYC. These doyens of dumb humor brought their sketches here twice in 2006, for the Comedy Fest and Piccolo. This time they're trumpeting a Greatest Skits package, with a random assortment of jokes, songs, and pop culture spoofs. — Nick Smith
Some comedians give the audiences exactly what they want — straight laughs, no chaser. Others are more masochistic, pushing themselves to invent new characters and situations that are harder to sell to the crowd. But once they do, the payoff is far more satisfying. — Nick Smith
Purple Jam is part of Theatre 99's popular Laugh for a Lincoln series and will be making its first appearance at the Charleston Comedy Festival this year. The collaborative ensemble is jammed together from Theatre 99's 40 company members — the red and blue teams — to make purple (get it?). Each Purple Jam session is made up of eight different members from the company, adding to the excitement for both the audience and T99. The group will take one suggestion from the audience and craft an entire show from that suggestion. — Imee Cuison
Neckprov begins each show with a prayer followed by an introduction to the seven characters who make up this troupe. Leading the pack are Brandy Sullivan as Carlene Ledbetter and Greg Tavares as Wild Man. Joining them are Brian DeCosta as Dody Roberts, Jason Groce as Chevron McDougall, David Roach as Ray Ray Skeeter, and George Younts as Jackson Seegers. The characters are a serious part of the improv comedy format. The only rules of the show are that everyone has to stay in character, and no one is allowed to sneak in an occasional British accent. The idea was inspired by the wildly popular appearance of Pimprov at the 2007 Comedy Festival. — Marina Fleming