[image-1]It was a great kick-off: local stand-up comic Billy Anderson — a young, mop-topped Mt. Pleasant-bred, sweater-wearin’ funny man — squeaked by a handful of string contenders at last night’s raucous Charleston Stand-up Competition at the Music Farm. The Charleston Comedy Festival’s first annual, audience-judged competition rolled more smoothly than some expected, thanks in large part to Kenny “Kenny Z” Zimlinghaus’s marvelous hosting and sound man Wayne Slagle’s efforts. The venue set up the place nicely with folding chairs and tables. and the crowd was surprisingly large, and quite boisterous at times.

Flavorful Magic Hat beer (from Vermont) and Irvin~House Vineyards’ “sweet tea flavored” Firefly Vodka shots flowed. City Paper’s John Stoehr enjoyed Kenny Z’s remarks about Chuck FM. Stand-out performers included Michelle Ouellette, Gardner Guess (making his first-ever official stage[image-2] performance), Marvin H., Bill Davis … and the disturbingly filthy and rambling Red Black.

City Paper’s Blair Barna, Stef Barna, and Derek Judson (pictured) were almost too full of cheap Mellow Mushroom slices to laugh heartily. There’s plenty more pizza, booze, laughs, and moans to come this weekend …