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BELLY FULL OF LAUGHS

The Charleston Comedy Festival announced last week who's coming in January. You should know that City Paper is working with Theatre 99 to make it happen.

That said, the line-up is quality stuff, which is something you'd know if you kept tabs on us. We try to avoid writing about crap like we avoid misleading our readers.

We want to make it clear we're helping to organize this shindig. It's shameless self-promotion when we say that you should go.

But again, it's quality stuff.

Why?

Well, it's funny, first of all (we hope; you never can tell, honestly). Second, there's a wide variety — sketch comedy, long-form improv, musical acts, parodies, and more.

There's even a puppet act (not the kind for kids, though).

In total, there are more than 30 acts performing in five different venues over the course of four nights. You won't stop laughin' 'til you get enough (again, we ain't promisin').

Some of the headliners:

The Harvard Sailing Team captures the absurdity of everyday life.

I Eat Pandas does a brand of comedy that's exactly as it sounds.

Hot Sauce presents the kind of unhinged comedy you'd expect from a trio of Canadians.

The Josh and Tamra Show offers puppetry that's just not right.

Murder, She Improvised — you get the idea.

The Apple Sisters Variety Show is a demented parody of the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy girls.

• The Washington Improv Theatre presents groups Caveat and Season Six.

• And the Magnet Theatre also presents two groups: Skosh and the abstract laugh track of Hello Laser.

There's more, much more, but we can't get it all in this space. So we've put together a couple of web pages to help you sort out what you like and what you'll take a pass on. Check out my blog, Unscripted, at www.arts.ccpblogs.com. Look for the 2008 Charleston Comedy Festival entries. There's a ton of video there and all the web links you can handle, plus information about where, when, and how much for each performance. You can also stop by the festival's dedicated website, www.charlestoncomedyfestival.com. —John Stoehr


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