If you need some comic relief from those New Year’s weight loss resolutions, Kenny Zimlinghaus will have you laughing the calories off with his specialty: fat jokes. Zimlinghaus is a long-time Charleston Comedy Festival performer, and judging by the returning audience, his tales of former fat kid woes never get old. He’ll be joined onstage by former stand-up competition winner Timmy Sherrill of Wilmington, N.C.

Known for his off-the-wall stories and impromptu antics, Kenny Z has been cracking up Charleston Comedy Festival audiences every year since its debut, back when he lived in Charleston himself co-hosting “The Storm and Kenny Radio Show” on 96 Wave. He’s since moved to New York where he’s taken his radio career to the next level as a regular contributor on the Wake Up program on Sirius XM’s Cosmo Radio.

Though he’s traveled the country doing stand up in cities from Toronto to Cleveland, Zimlinghaus still says he prefers revisiting his old stomping grounds in Charleston.

“It’s becoming one of the best festivals,” he says. “If not the best, it’s the most fun. There are so many performers and we get to after-party at the Mellow Mushroom.”

For this year’s show, he plans to work off the cuff with all new material, he says. He can’t promise what topics he’ll cover yet, but he’s pretty sure his childhood will continue to come up.

“I feel like every joke I do is somehow based in some sort of tragedy and the only tragic time of my life was my childhood, so, yeah, I think it’ll all be connected there,” he says. “I try to grow from it so I don’t get off the stage and cry myself to sleep.”

After his shows in Charleston, Zimlinghaus will start shooting his first feature-length comedy, Wedgerino, which he co-wrote with friend Aaron Wertheimer. The film is due out late Fall 2013 and, if Zimlighaus has anything to say about it, will undoubtedly have some screenings in Charleston.

Thurs. Jan. 17, 8 p.m. Fri. Jan. 18, 8 p.m. $12.50. American Theater

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