What's on Tap

What's on Tap

From Triangle to coast, NC comedy scene heats up

Posted June 17

This is a picture of the North Carolina flag, although it's a bit tattered.

Here’s a quick rundown of the comedy bonanza taking place in North Carolina in mid-to-late June from Raleigh & Co. contributor Tony Castleberry:

Goodnights’ annual North Carolina’s Funniest Person Contest is underway, and the competition continues with three shows in two days next week and the finale on June 29. North Carolina’s Funniest has a comedy festival vibe with multiple comedians going up and doing their best material in short sets. It’s a great opportunity to see a bunch of different acts in a couple of hours for not a lot of money.

Comedian Bobby Lee is headlining Goodnights this weekend, and Rich Vos is dropping in for an 8 p.m. show next Thursday. Vos, a veteran stand-up with four Comedy Central specials who has written for the Comedy Central Roasts and the Oscars, is kicking off a North Carolina road trip that begins in Raleigh and concludes with gigs at Wilmington’s Dead Crow Comedy Room next Friday and Saturday.

He will be taping his latest album at Dead Crow, a gem of a club in downtown Wilmy that serves as home base for the annual Cape Fear Comedy Festival and Port City’s Top Comic competition as well as recently featuring greats like Andy Kindler. Vos plays the biggest clubs in the country and probably could have picked any venue for a CD taping, but he chose Dead Crow because of the “reputation” of the club, as Vos tweeted in response to a fan’s question on Monday. Good luck finding a more ringing endorsement than that.

Finally, the Sick of Stupid Comedy Tour, spearheaded by Wilmington comic Cliff Cash, rolls right along, and I’m looking forward to next Friday’s stop at the Idiot Box — has there ever been a better name for a comedy club? — in Greensboro. I’ve gotten to know Cliff a little bit in the last few years and watching his act evolve has been pure joy. Cash had hands down one of the funniest sets at the most recent Cape Fear fest in May, and along with Tom Simmons and Stewart Huff, the Sick of Stupid tour promises to provide “a voice of reason with a Southern accent.” Since Trump and any number of N.C.’s elected officials who support him are likely to say or do at least 100 asinine things between now and next Friday, a voice of reason accompanied by laughter sounds like exactly what the doctor ordered. Sign me up.


Tony Castleberry regularly interviews comedians for Raleigh & Co.

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