The Carolina Comedy Festival is a once in a year chance to fully experience the culmination of comedic personas springing from both UNC and beyond — even as far as the cast of “Saturday Night Live.”
The festival, hosted by the Carolina Union Activities Board, features both local and national comedians, and kicks off today with a Student Stand-up Show held at Historic PlayMakers Theatre. The winner will open for comedian Lewis Black on Saturday.
The four-day event includes appearances from people like UNC alumnus Dean Roughton, whose humor book “The Most Educated Idiot I Know” was recently published, to comedian Matt Stanton to “SNL” cast members. Black will wrap up the festival on Saturday at Memorial Hall.
The festival will feature the cast members from “SNL” on Friday. Aidy Bryant, Brooks Wheelan and Bobby Moynihan will hold a variety show, where they will all do a wide array of comedic sketches, improv and stand-up. Called “Friday Night Live,” the show is set to premiere for free at the Great Hall, and a short introductory seminar will be held before the show.
Sophomore Merrick Osborne, the CUAB comedy committee chairman, was primarily involved with organizing the event. He said that comedy is an important, engaging form of entertainment that has value at UNC.
“It is actually a work of art to make someone else laugh,” he said.
“It’s an amazing profession that people kind of take for granted. I’d like to show them kind of what goes on behind the scenes.”
The Student Stand-up Show will present independent student comedians as well as those from various comedic groups on campus. Junior Kenan Bateman, co-founder of UNC’s comedy troupe False Profits, will also be performing a three-minute stand-up set at the show. He said stand-up is an energizing, but personal, form of comedy.
“For three to five minutes, you’re the only person on stage with hundreds of people watching you. For that brief moment in time, you are the focus, you have the microphone, you get the chance to be loud,” Bateman said.