Thursday, August 30, 2012

Comedy for a Cause....

Attended a funny fund-raiser last night downtown on the harbor at the old IMAX.

Next to the South Carolina Aquarium.

Fortunately, the flooding, heavy tropical rains were the day before.

A nice crowd gathered  at the Hippodrome.

Here Comic Jerry Farber, from Atlanta, is bragging how he used to look...only a few days ago.

Five very talented stand-ups performed as a "thank you" to Joe Meli.

Joe is the former owner of two excellent music and comedy venues Desperado and The Plex, and this was a special way to show appreciation.

Joe has been ill for some time since the Plex closed five years ago.

His former partner Bob Shipley booked the place and longtime comedy producer Tony Kemp invited the talented performers to be the program.

After the opener Dave Ugly did his bit, funnyman Brian Shirley took the stage to thank Meli and his family and to welcome them to a humorous evening.

It got a little R-rated at times but very, very funny.

With comedians who are used to interacting with the audience, you took a chance to head out for a beer or go for a bathroom break.

You often became part of the act. Some fans tried to trade comments but they clearly were out of their league!

The headliner for the eveing was Shaun Jones.

His catchphrase seemed to be "That's a fact that I just made up."

He's down from New Jersey and loved bantering with audience members from Goose Creek and their exciting side trips to Moncks Corner.

He would dart to the front of the stage, lean down to several young ladies in the front row and explain a joke he had just made.

Shaun wondered why many Northerners come down here and complain about everything Southern.

Yet, when they retire, they move here. There, another "fact" he added.

Here is where I probably should proclaim "SPOILER ALERT."

I have seen Just June perform a few times and she is an amazing elderly down-to-earth lady with many funny opinions.

She likes to share them too.

June said her husband was old. Much, much too old for her.

AND, he was ugly.

She prefers pretty young men.

The scarf was moved around her head to simulate the way - in some countries - women have to hide their faces. Or their whole bodies.

And aren't allowed to drive a car. "These rules are made by men." she opined.

I smiled and waited for the moment when she turned her back to the audience, whipped off her black wig, stripped off her baggy housecoat and turned back around to applause.

Quickly donning a radiant blonde wig, she urged the audience to sing along with her energetic take on Tina Turner's "Rolling On The River."

And we did.

I had not been back to the Hippodrome since they stopped showing movies on a regular basis.

Hated to see downtown lose its only theater but it's been transformed into a nice club/event setting.

I saw an elevated dance floor in the old lobby and a DJ was set up for the after party entertainment.

Two bars now filled the space where I used to buy movie concessions.

No popcorn in sight.

(Click the photos twice to see more detail.)

Joe Meli was there, apparently enjoying the evening.

It was nice to be able to say "Thanks, Joe."



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