Asheville’s thriving comedy scene remains active with local artists while also attracting major touring acts.
• In March, Lewis Black sold out two nights at The Orange Peel, opting for a club setting over his typical choice of large auditoriums (he’s been a staple at The Peace Center in Greenville, S.C., for many years).
• Following a massive heart attack on the evening of filming a comedy special in March, podcaster and filmmaker Kevin Smith bounced back with two sold-out shows in one night at The Orange Peel. His new vegan lifestyle led to local sightings at Rosetta’s Kitchen.
• Michelle Wolf, who gained both fame and infamy with her appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner earlier in the year, performed at The Orange Peel in November.
• Slice of Life Comedy, operating at The Pulp, continues to be the biggest local open mic for aspiring and accomplished local comedians.
• Local artist Jason Scholder has branded himself as the Midlife Comic and has rapidly become one of the hardest-working and out-of-the-box-thinking local comedians. His podcast “Learning To Fail,” features interviews with comedians. His live show, Talk About Funny, ran monthly at the LaZoom Room this year. Scholder ended 2018 with the all-Jewish lineup The Not Quite Kosher Comedy at Ambrose West.
• Tragedy struck when local comedy veteran Michael Roach (who debuted as a stand-up in 2003 at the now-defunct Area:45 Theatre) passed away in April. Funny Business at The Grey Eagle sponsored a benefit show for his fiancee and their baby in July, featuring more than a dozen local comedians performing two shows in a single night and ultimately raising over $5,000 through a GoFundMe campaign.