The Limestone Comedy Festival kicked off Thursday, May 31. The first event was the Brewtube Comedy Happy Hour Show at the Upland Brewery, and the second event consisted of performances from an array of comedians at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
At 7:30 p.m., Brad Wilhelm took the stage to welcome comedians Stephanie Lochbihler, Rocco Stowe and Margaret Cho to the theater.
The crowd cheered as sponsors of the Limestone Comedy Festival were announced, like Mother Bear’s Pizza, Upland Brewery and Hopscotch Coffee. Although nearly every seat at the venue was filled, Wilhelm invited attendees to move forward to fill any empty seats before Lochbihler took the stage.
Lochbihler, a Bloomington native, warmed up the crowd with her jokes about her son, sex and construction.
“My boyfriend told me he wanted to dress sexy for me for Halloween this year," Lochbihler said during her set. "He asked me what he should be, I said he should dress as the I-69 construction so he can last a lot longer than expected.”
Stowe, who is touring with Margaret Cho across the country for Cho's “Fresh Off The Bloat” tour, took the stage next, calling himself Margaret Cho’s “fluffer.”
Stowe covered various topics, such as DJ Khaled, ADHD, his age and tattoos. The Philadelphia-born, Los Angeles resident is both a stand-up comedian and an actor.
He finished his set and Margaret Cho was introduced. As she walked onto the stage, the crowd erupted into applause, which lasted a few minutes.
Cho is a Grammy- and Emmy-nominated stand-up comedian who began her career in her teens. She started writing jokes at 14 and began performing professionally at age 16, according to her website.
Cho is also an actress, musician, author and fashion designer. She is very active in anti-racism, anti-bullying, homeless and gay rights campaigns, and, to some festival attendees, she was a great way to start the festival.
“I’ve heard a lot of her comedy shows and she’s hilarious.” Amanda Misselhorn, a Bloomington resident, said. “I was amazed that she was in town.”
Cho discussed weed, her mother, Planned Parenthood, Donald Trump and rape culture. She had the crowd laughing the entire time.
“Anybody who wants to defund Planned Parenthood, I wish that I could psychically give them a yeast infection,” Cho said in her set, receiving a few screams and some drawn-out applause.
After her set was over, Cho received a standing ovation and walked off the stage as Wilhelm walked on, only to be brought out again.
Wilhelm announced they had gotten word that in Monroe County, May 31, 2018, was deemed “Margaret Cho Day.”
The Limestone Comedy Festival will also feature headliners Chris Gethard, Judah Friedlander and Cy Amundson.
“I come to the festival every year, this is the sixth year I’ve come," Raquel Comer, from Indianapolis, said. “I’m looking forward to Judah Friedlander and Laura Kightlinger.”
The festival will run until Saturday, June 2, with performances in locations such as The Bishop, The Backdoor, The Comedy Attic and more. Tickets can still be purchased through its website.
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