The NC Comedy Arts Festival is nearly here, which means more than two full weeks of standup, sketch and improv comedy acts are about to take over Local 506, DSI Comedy Theater, The ArtsCenter, and even Motorco Music Hall and The Carolina Theatre in Durham. What started out as a small college invitational to bring Chicago-style improvisation to UNC in 2001 has become the largest comedy festival on the East Coast. A week of standup beginning Jan. 30 kicks off the festival, followed by four days of sketch comedy and a week of improv. Here’s a sampling of some of the standup comedians who will be trying to make you laugh. TW
Ted Morris always looks like he's having the most fun in the room when he's on stage. His intelligent, off-beat humor and wickedly charming smile lets us all know that our slightly warped thoughts are just fine.
He’s equal parts boy-next-door and boy-your-mother-warned-you-about with just enough boy-you-want-to-hang-out-with-at-the-party-to-laugh-at-everyone-else-with (and know you’re safe!) to keep things interesting.
Born in Ottawa and now making his home in Toronto, Morris discovered his love of stand-up while getting his degree in veterinary medicine. While he still spends some time working as a small animal vet, his comedy career is taking off and he has found that it's much more gratifying to "kill" on stage.
His hour long comedy special debuted on The Comedy Network in 2012.
Morris will be performing at Local 506 (506 W. Franklin St.) on Friday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. for $14, and DSI Comedy Theater (200 N. Greensboro St., B-11) on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. for $14.
Chuck Watkins is an avant-ridiculous comedian and musician who currently resides in Los Angeles. After beginning his standup career in Austin, Watkins was selected to perform at the Just For Laughs Festival In Montreal and on the fourth season of Live at Gotham on Comedy Central.
Watkins' unique brand of whimsical, high-energy comedy combines a terse wit and musical instrumentation, as well as many elements of absurdist theater.
Watkins is also the creator and host of "Imaginary Episodes," the popular stage show and upcoming podcast, which performs staged readings of new scripts for classic, cancelled sitcoms.
Watkins will be performing at DSI Comedy Theater on Friday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. for $14.
April Richardson has had the chance to perform her standup act on the same stages as comedians including Patton Oswalt, Todd Glass, Jimmy Pardo, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford and Billy Bragg, so she can't be too horrible at this, right?
Richardson jokes that people outside of her immediate family and small circle of friends have told her that she's funny (including Glenn M.F. Danzig -- for real), so that has to legitimize her somehow. It would be awesome (and flattering!) if, after seeing her, you shared that opinion.
If not, it's cool; she understands. To each his own and all that. One person's trash is another person's treasure. What goes around comes around. Two birds, one stone. You snooze, you lose!
Richardson will be performing at DSI Comedy Theater on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m and Saturday, Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. for $14.
Dana Jay Bein
Dana Jay Bein (DJB) is a standup comedian, improviser and motivator. DJB has made his life in comedy at ImprovBoston, where he is the head of the standup program, a company cast member (Face Off / MISTER DIPLOMAT) and a veteran instructor of the ImprovBoston Comedy School.
DJB has brought his performances and workshops to Boston College, MIT, Stonehill College, Boston University, Wellesley College, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University and UMass Boston. In 2008, DJB was featured as a standup coach on MTV and has performed in over 1,000 shows to date. He currently produces, books and hosts The Peoples Show and The Comedy Lottery at ImprovBoston in Cambridge, Mass.
DJB will be performing at DSI Comedy Theater on Friday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. for $14, and Local 506 on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. for $14.