Lowcountry Comedy Tour

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July 26, 2013

To start this blog post off with a snag line about the history of comedy, or tie it into the City Paper article about headliner Evan Berke, then flow into the success of the show, and the great support the Charleston comedy scene got Saturday night would be fine, but it would only tell a part of the story.  This show almost did not happen. That is the truth, and if you are reading this post, it is important to know the struggles leading up to this show in order to understand how amazing the night was. Everyone involved was worried about how the community of Charleston would support their brightest stars.  Is the scene saturated? Are our friends as funny as we think they are? Do people really locally support the arts? It is like a slow and constant anxiety attack.  But to ease the pain I will let loose the ending, we did it.  The positivity and gusto of everyone involved made the show a roaring success.  Over four hundred showed up in support of their local comedians, the City Paper ran a great cover story on locals that leave to big cities to pursue their dreams, and above all else, the comedians brought their A-game to the stage.

It seems that running a venue is all about tipping points.  The writer, sociologist, bestselling author, and all around guy-that-makes-statistics-cool, Malcolm Gladwell, wrote a whole book about tipping points, apply titled The Tipping Point.  Gladwell explains the phenomena of social tipping points being due to, “ideas and behavior and messages and products sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease.  They are social epidemics.”  Basically, success is often times counterintuitive, unusual, things just happen without immediate explanation.  This can be used to explain The Lowcountry Comedy Tour’s final night.  The buzz grew in an exponential pattern.  Unlike linear graphs that move in constants upward by addition; 2+2=4, 4+2=6, 6+2=8, etc., exponential functions move by multiplications; 2×2=4, 4×2=16, 16×4=64, 64×16=1024, so things escalate quickly.  Word-of-mouth, according to Gladwell, works in much the same way; groups of people spread popular events and sociological phenomena exponentially.

We at the Charleston Music Hall love comedy and have housed famous comedians such as Aziz Ansari from Parks and Recreation, Bill Burr from The Chappelle’s Show, and Wyatt Cenac from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  The Charleston comedy scene has been on our radar for a while, so when we decided to do a local showcase we already had a few comedians in mind.  Vince Fabra, hailed as “The greatest comedian of all time” by his mother, told jokes in a sketch group translation similar to his work in “Peanut Butter Buddy Time”, and his co-writer credits on “The Importance of Being Awkward”.  Dusty Slay, winner of the 2011 and 2012 Charleston Comedy Festivals Stand-Up Comedy competition, and “2013 Best Local Comic” by the readers of the Charleston City Paper, told a set of relatively clean material accented by his unbelievable whit and ability to lead the listener through a hilarious journey with punch lines built up to perfection.  Evan Berke, the night’s headliner, performed a bitter sweet show, as he said goodbye to Charleston.  Berke says in his interview with the Charleston City Paper that “Charleston has been a very productive place for me to build and practice my routine, and I wouldn’t have wanted to get started anywhere else.”  One of our goals at the Charleston Music Hall is to nurture local talent and be a place that supports the local arts. We hope that with the success of this show ,the Charleston comedy scene grows exponentially and that when looking back, this show is a tipping point for many comedians.

– Bennett Jones, CMH