downtown dirt by manhole: Christmas, Comedy, and Air Sex at Scruffy City Hall

This year’s Scruffy City Comedy Festival  — to be held Nov. 13 through 15 across three venues, Preservation Pub, Uncorked and Scruffy City Hall — will be a monstrous and mortifying affront to decent and god-fearing people everywhere. And you can bet your sweet assets that we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Because two dollars plus all the decency on Planet Earth still won’t buy you a single-serving latte at Starbuck’s. And fearing the Almighty is so last-millenium anyway; better to save your dread for Tax Time. Or maybe the next Shia Labeouf movie.

No, but this year’s Festival will be an especially depraved and terrible event — and I mean “terrible” and “depraved” in the very best kind of way, Jake — not in the least because this year’s fest will feature the first-ever Knox-vegas edition of the Air Sex World Championships, at 9:45 p.m. in Scruffy City Hall.

That’s right: dozens of Knoxvillians, and not a few visiting comedians, will take the stage and f@#$ their own brains out, virtually speaking, for the viewing pleasure of the attending masses, and the sake of winning some of meaningless prizes. Just remember, Jake: Dignity is always for sale, and it usually comes cheap.

There are a couple or three rules involved with the ASWC — which is the brainchild of New Orleans-based comedian, wrestler and rapper Chris Trew, who will be on hand as officiant — and those are as follows: Nudity, partners, and orgasms are all matters of make-believe in the ASWC. Or as it is stated in the ASWC rules: When you come on stage, you can’t come on the stage.

And that’s but one highlight of the weekend, which will also include an entire set of dope jokes from Wisconsin funny man Shane Mauss (“This is your Shane on drugs”), a set from Reality TV star Mia Jackson, and a plenty of other half-baked weirdness courtesy of various comics, Knoxvillian and otherwise.

And before we delve into some holiday foibles, I would be remiss if I did not mention the recent arrival of local scribe and unofficial musicologist Wayne Bledsoe at Scruffy City Hall. A journalist in Knoxville since 1980-something-or-other, Bledsoe has forgotten more about music in his three decades of writing and reporting than any five of your insufferable know-it-all Bright Eyes-loving indie-rock-snob friends could ever hope to learn ere they turn grey and moldy, lying in some dreary geezer bin drooling on their flannels and waiting for the Reaper to make his final pass…

Lest you doubt, check out Bledsoe’s weekly “All Over the Road” broadcast, Saturdays at midnight on WDVX:  The word “eclectic” does not begin to do it justice.

Wayne will bring some of that All Over the Road sensibility to a new Thursday night program — likewise broadcast on WDVX — wherein he will host weekly musical guests at 6 p.m. in Scruffy City Hall. Upcoming editions will see Bledsoe host local indie-rock survivors Senryu, Americana stalwarts Mic Harrison and the High Score, and singer/songwriter/gee-tar hotshot Kevin Abernathy.

In the meantime, as we surge toward the dark heart of the holiday season  of 2015, we should also note that your favorite local entertainment venues will be open even on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Christmas Eve. This year’s Thanksgiving Family Jam will feature local honky-tonk angels Guy Marshall, taking the stage to croon away the holiday blues sure to have accumulated from a long day of “quality time” with the extended fam.

And on Christmas Day, local music’s idiot-savant Sam Quinn will host his annual Christmas Debacle, a night of delicious tomfoolery sure to wash away the foul taste of even the stalest fruitcake.

Did somebody mention Christmas? Don’t forget SantaCon, on Dec. 12 at the Pub and Scruffy City Hall. Anyone dressed as Saint Nick gets in free, on a night when local funk party-starters Soulfinger will celebrate a very James Brown kind of Christmas.

That’s all for now. But come back next time, for more news of the Yuletide festivities at the Pub and SCH, and of the soulless debauchery of the New Year soon to follow.

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