The dates are set and the comedians are booked: The 2012 Charleston Comedy Festival is a go. Hosted by Theatre 99 and the Charleston City Paper, the four-day comedy extravaganza brings some of the best comedians from across North America to our little town. Conveniently set in the midst of the January doldrums‚ the fest will fill local theaters and bars with inappropriate jokes, ridiculous songs, and wild after-parties Jan. 18-21.
As we mentioned last week, this year's headliner is T.J. Miller. Miller got his start in 2008 starring in Cloverfield and has appeared in Yogi Bear, She's Out of My League, and Get Him to the Greek. He was recently named one of Variety's "Top 10 Comics to Watch" and one of Entertainment Weekly's "Next Big Things in Comedy."
There are a few familiar faces on this year's schedule, including the ever-present, über-talented folks of New York's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. The Kick Ass Comedy Show features the Two-Man Movie and Outlook of the Poet, both comprised of UCB cast members. Two-Man Movie's Neil Casey and Anthony Atamanuik improvise a movie on stage, while Outlook of the Poet stars three UCB veterans performing an improvised one-act play. UCB house team Sandino performs with two other groups (Phat Beethoven and Rockola) during The Improv and Sketch Invasion. Other returning Comedy Fest vets include the Shock Ts, Village Theater, Nate Bargatze, Kenny Z, and Jet Eveleth, who's appearing in two shows as a member of Tulle with Sarah Fineout.
There are some exciting newcomers as well. New York's Day Camp Kids perform playful long-form improvised fairy tales complete with princes and evil villains. Improv group Michael Pizza was recently named "Best New Improv Ensemble" by Chicago Magazine. Appearing with the Shock Ts, the Reformed Whores are two Southern belles who've "washed away their sins but forgot to rinse out their mouths." Expect musical improv complete with an accordion and ukulele. The Most RACES Show on Earth is billed as "Canada's premier multicultural stand-up comedy showcase," while Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting deserves to be seen for their name alone. As usual, you'll also see plenty of local acts like Human Fireworks, Big Dicktionary, and Neckprov. And the hottest tickets are always the Stand-Up Competition Winners Showcase, the All-Star Jam, and the Festival Finale.
See charlestoncomedyfestival.com for the full schedule and to buy tickets.