[image-1]Kenny Z (left) warned us from the get go: “Some guys are gonna come out here and take a shit on stage.” But that didn’t make the crowd at last night’s Charleston Stand-Up Competition run for the doors, ’cause sometimes watching somebody bomb at one of these things is almost as fun as watching someone kill it. Over the course of two hours, 15 amateur comics took the Music Farm stage and each had five short minutes to win over the audience, which would decide by applause who the funniest person in Charleston was.

No topic was off limits: Vaginas. G-spots. Hookers on Craigslist. Fat girl porn. Terrorists. Skydiving. Manscaping. Fat guys with big chunks of meat for abdomens. Midget-fucking, bloody coochie eating, sucking dick. Ball shaving. Porn. Dane Cook. Corn in poop. Velociraptors. Jagerbombs. Booty calls.

Timmy Sherrill from Wilmington, N.C., finished his set inside a vagina. Not literally, he was simulating finding the G-spot using the stool on stage as a stand-in for his wife’s cookie. Despite the graphic reenactment, he had a polished, funny bit and was one of my favorites, but he was no match for the local guys who brought lots of friends to support them.

[image-2]In the end, it came down to two. One a firefighter and the other a Theatre 99 performer. Travis Howze (right), from Firehouse 10-Ladder 5 in West Ashley, took the stage and started gettin’ down. Travis’ whole bit was predicated on the fact that white dudes are incredibly nasty. He’s the guy who brought up eating a girl’s coochie when she’s got her period. I won’t go into any more detail than that. The funny fireman, despite some really disgusting shit, got wild laughter and applause from the crowd, and Tim Hoeckel (below) had the tough job of following the most popular guy in the room — which, impressively, he did with ease. After falling on his ass (and hitting Kenny Z’s crotch on the way down), he started off relying on his improv skills and telling the crowd he was a white guy too and he was definitely not nasty. The next five minutes proved that. Tim was relaxed on stage, physical, and really hilarious (he’s performing tonight in This Is Chucktown at the Charleston Ballet Theatre, if you want to check him out).

[image-3]After all 15 comics had their turn, Kenny Z lined them up on stage and prompted the crowd to clap for each comic based on their favorites. The crowd went bananas for both Travis and Tim — Kenny Z looked distressed, ’cause there wasn’t a clear winner. He told the crowd to wait, went backstage, and said there was no way he was going to call it. City Paper’s advertising director Blair Barna came to his rescue, offering to put up more money so it could be called a tie and giving each guy a $100 prize.

Congrats to the funniest guys in Charleston — Travis Howze and Tim Hoeckel. —Stephanie Barna

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