Charleston Comedy Festival 2017 

Get ready to LOL

click to enlarge Quincy Jones is among those performing at this year's Charleston Comedy Festival

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Quincy Jones is among those performing at this year's Charleston Comedy Festival

Happy Comedy Fest week, Charleston. Now in its 14th year, this four day-long fest features 14 locally based comedy acts and 18 visiting acts, with groups coming from Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, Norfolk, Chapel Hill, and more. Needless to say, there's a little bit of something here for everyone. And most of the acts we spoke to had a least one common thread among all their wonderful, weird, and wacky sensibilities — the topic of our new president. Whether they explicitly refer to him or not, Donald Trump's inauguration weekend will most certainly inform the attitudes and jokes of some of the performers you see this weekend. And we wouldn't want it any other way.

Roderick Hale Weaver says farewell to Lewis Barbecue, hello to The Granary
Roderick Hale Weaver says farewell to Lewis Barbecue, hello to The Granary Mt. P bound

When it comes to respected bartenders in Charleston, Roderick Hale Weaver is among the best. The former Husk bar manager joined Lewis Barbecue this summer bringing his knack for creative cocktails with him. His watermelon agua fresca pitchers where a refreshing counterpoint to the rich brisket and made sitting on the restaurant's patio elbows deep in hot guts on a 90 degree day just a little more tolerable. But now Weaver says he's leaving the barbecue biz for The Granary's new location at 835 Coleman Boulevard. — Kinsey Gidick


Stand-Up Competition Winners strut their stuff
Stand-Up Competition Winners strut their stuff The Tops

After scoring first place in last year's Charleston Comedy Festival Stand-Up Competition, Mike Brocki is back to dole out more jokes. Originally from Chicago, Brocki has become a key player in the local comedy scene. He began writing jokes as early as age 14 and occasionally performed at open mic nights, but never seriously pursued comedy until moving to Charleston. Before relocating, Brocki was in the Air Force stationed in Dover, DE — a place that, according to him, lacked a real comedy scene — so he continued to write jokes in his spare time. — Connelly Hardaway


The guys in Big Dicktionary know their SAT words
The guys in Big Dicktionary know their SAT words Words with Friends

John Brennan and Timmy Finch are Big Dicktionary, a duo that's been kicking around the Charleston comedy scene for over a decade now. When a show's been around that long, you know it's good — people keep coming back for more wordplay. — Connelly Hardaway


Moral Fixation creates a scene — and you're right they're with them
Moral Fixation creates a scene — and you're right they're with them Meaty Stuff

Greg Tavares and Lee Lewis make up Moral Fixation, a comedy duo that's been going strong for 11 years now. Needless to say spending that much time together has taught the guys the ins and outs of performing side by side. — Connelly Hardaway


Chaos and absurdity are the name of the game at The Ruckus Room Stand-Up Show
Chaos and absurdity are the name of the game at The Ruckus Room Stand-Up Show What's the Ruckus?

One part stand-up, one part improv — the Ruckus Room Stand-Up Show is an outrageous time for both the audience and the performers. It was created when Theatre 99 resident comedians Tim Hoeckel and Jessica Mickey began brainstorming ideas for a consistent stand-up show at the venue. — Samantha Connors


Mary Kay has a Posse imbues CCF with some strong female energy
Mary Kay has a Posse imbues CCF with some strong female energy Girls' Club

Mary Kay Has a Posse — Brandy Sullivan, Jennifer Buddin, Camille Lowman, and Jessica Mickey —­­ have been performing for about 15 years now, according to Mickey, but that doesn't mean they have trouble keeping each performance fresh. — Connelly Hardaway


Doppelganger plays all your favorite songs you didn't know existed
Doppelganger plays all your favorite songs you didn't know existed Seeing Double

Doppelganger, comprised of Clive Nelson and Johnny Dregg — a.k.a. Lee Lewis and Jason Cooper — is an all-improvised rock show. The show starts off with the duo asking the audience to shout out their favorite Doppelganger songs. Yes, for those of you not keeping up, that means shouting out fake song titles. — Connelly Hardaway


Nameless Numberhead make variety shows cool again
Nameless Numberhead make variety shows cool again Mixed Bag

We first interviewed Nameless Numberhead a year ago for the article "Gig to Gig," which profiled young creatives in Charleston. And we're here to tell you that the duo, Maari Suorsa and Henry Riggs, have made quite a mark on the city since then. They've hosted and performed their variety show, RIP City, all over town, and they recently launched another monthly show, Nameless Numberhead and Friends. — Connelly Hardaway


Human Fireworks keep things fresh
Human Fireworks keep things fresh Light It Up

If you can't stop singing, "baby, you're a firework," when you see the name of this group, then you don't have the kind of love for Katy Perry that we hold deep in our hearts. We think that Human Fireworks, a crew comprised of Theatre 99 regulars, are as passionate about things that go sparkle as our gal Perry is, and we know that from the way they start the show. Every performance begins with the warning, err, preface, that "things are about to get weird." —


Hims & Hers create magic onstage
Hims & Hers create magic onstage Guys and Dolls

When Hims & Hers co-founder Stephen Boynton started exploring improv performance a few years back, it was a bucket-list moment. "I took an improv class at Theatre 99 on a whim," he says. "It had been something I wanted to try. It was one of those things like skydiving, the fear of being in front of an audience and not knowing what I was doing. There was sort of a thrill-seeking thing going on there." — Vincent Harris


C.H.A.M.P.S. play it funny with a lil reunion show just for you
C.H.A.M.P.S. play it funny with a lil reunion show just for you Old Pals

C.H.A.M.P.S., comprised of Caleb Usry, Henry Riggs, Andy Livengood, and Matt Perry, is actually an acronym for the names of the members. Confused? M.P.S. stands for Matt Perry, Senior. Perry is not, in fact, a senior — the extra 'S' just worked. — Connelly Hardaway


These acts explore Greek life, the future, and one teen boy's texts
These acts explore Greek life, the future, and one teen boy's texts Sketch It Out

Leila Gorstein graduated from Indiana University in 2014 with a BA in theater. She had more than that, though. She also had years of stories from her experience as a member of a Jewish sorority. — Connelly Hardaway


Front Porch Improv was kinda born in Charleston
Front Porch Improv was kinda born in Charleston Sit back and laugh

Fourteen years ago John Brennan wandered into Theatre 99 and never left. Well, in spirit anyway. He relished the humor, the energy, and the ambiance so much that he wanted to create his own version of the venue when he left the Holy City for Savannah. — Samantha Connors


These three groups bring the funny from Greenville, Norfolk, and Chapel Hill
These three groups bring the funny from Greenville, Norfolk, and Chapel Hill Triple Threat

Rather than outlandish scenarios or wild ideas, the Local Legends team that Greenville's Alchemy Comedy Theater is sending to this year's festival began by focusing on their audience. "The four of us that founded that team did improv based on stories from other people," says Alchemy's Harrison Brookie. "We would get people to tell their stories, their legends, and improvise based on those stories." — Vincent Harris


Fun Facts About Hannibal Buress
Fun Facts About Hannibal Buress The guy's been known to source local ballerinas for his show

The New York Times has called Hannibal Buress "one of the fastest rising comics working today." But that was back in 2011. Hell, we here at the City Paper have interviewed him twice in the last year and a half. — Matt Dobie


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