Racial stereotypes have long been a staple of stand-up comedy, a way to tackle ignorance and intolerance with a cushion of laughter. But MRSOE, the Most Races Show on Earth, is taking that tradition to a new, and arguably more constructive, level. The touring company, featuring a rotating cast of seven comedians from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, is on a mission to “examine racial and ethnic differences through the lens of laughter,” one gasp-enducing joke at a time.
From a press release, “‘The Most RACES Show on Earth helps us to better understand one another,’” says Neil Bansil, creator and producer of MRSOE. “‘The barriers between cultures cannot be easily dissolved; sometimes it’s actually the shock value of a lot of the jokes that inspires people to start thinking. The more we realize our differences, the more we are the same because we all laugh at the same things.”
The Most Races Show on Earth stops in Asheville tonight for a performance at The LAB. 9 p.m. $8. A portion of proceeds benefits the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism initiative.