Hot Sauce

Fri., Jan. 18, 9:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 19, 8:00 p.m.; $12.50; Charleston Ballet Theatre;

Ever known someone with the gift of banter? Really, really funny banter?

Well, multiply that one person times three and you’ve got Hot Sauce. Watching this three-man sketch and improv group do their thing is like seeing that group of guys you knew in college, the ones who always had something clever and hilarious to say, hang out and have fun — which, incidentally, is kind of what you’re doing, with the addition of a prop or two and maybe some fake facial hair.

Far from mistaking simple wackiness for actual humor, one of the most predictable sins of sketch comedy groups, Adam Pally, Gil Ozeri, and Ben Schwartz navigate the world of the mundane just as well as that of the absurd. Hot Sauce began at a Upright Citizens Brigade late-night open mic show called Liquid Courage, at which Pally and Schwartz started performing their sketches. Ozeri started helping out, acting an extra character now and then, and Hot Sauce was formed. Heavily influenced by early 1990s comedy of the Saturday Night Live bent, the three now write and perform their own sketches, do improv, and even make short films.

One of the films, a Serbian basketball instructional video called Ysketball, was the 2006 Timeout New York Short Film of the Year.

That’s where the fake facial hair comes in.