For 10 years, Charleston Comedy Festival has been celebrating the local stand-up scene by hosting its annual Stand-up Competition. The grueling process — which involves four preliminary rounds, followed by semi-final rounds, and a final Stand-Up Competition Winners Showcase — has named some of the best comics in the city. Names like Mike Brocki, two-time winner Dusty Slay, and two-time winner Jeremy Mclellan, who today is essentially a rockstar in Pakistan. But audiences won’t get to vote for their favorites this year.
Theater 99’s Brandy Sullivan and Greg Tavares say they had to make the difficult call to cancel this year’s competition due to lack of interest.
“We only had four people sign up,” says Sullivan. Last year the competition had 14 contestants, and the minimum was set at 10.
But while the pool of participants didn’t show up, Sullivan and Tavares insist there’s still a demand for good stand-up in the city. “There’s interest from the audience,” Sullivan says.
Because of that, the Theater 99 co-founders haven’t ruled out a Charleston Comedy Festival Stand-up Competition for 2019.
In the meantime, Tavares and Sullivan are brainstorming ways to incorporate some more stand-up into this year’s comedy fest (Jan. 17-20, 2018). Perhaps a greatest hits of past winners? They say it could happen.