Charlotte To Host 2019 NBA All Star Game (As Long As NCGA Doesn’t Screw It Up)

CHARLOTTE, NC: The Charlotte Hornets have officially announced (to everyone except the NCGA) the NBA’s decision to allow Charlotte to host the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.

The NBA All-Star Game was scheduled to be in Charlotte this year, but was pulled by the NBA due to backlash over the North Carolina General Assembly’s HB2 law – better known as the “Bathroom Bill.”

Due to the controversy, the Hornets are urging members of the community to avoid mentioning the game to their state lawmakers.

“We are thrilled the league has awarded NBA All-Star 2019 to the city of Charlotte,” team owner Michael Jordan said in a statement, “As long as no one does anything stupid – coughcoughNCGA – the All-Star weekend will provide a tremendous economic impact to our community while showcasing our city, our franchise and our passionate Hornets fan base to people around the world.”

While Charlotteans should be excited and proud, spokespeople for the NBA are advising to avoid posting the news to social media outlets frequented by state senators.

“Feel free to share the news,” an NBA spokesperson said in a private press conference that barred state lawmakers, “but maybe don’t share it where Senator Phil Berger and the rest of the NCGOP can see it, you know what I mean?”

The controversial HB2 law, which vacated legal protections for LGBT citizens and would have barred transgender individuals from using the bathroom of their choice, was officially repealed after considerable pressure from the NBA, ACC, PayPal, Pearl Jam, and more. The state of North Carolina lost billions as the boycott gained international attention.

“I’m just saying, midterms are next year and we don’t want to give the NCGA any ideas,” Jordan said, “It’s just better if we kept this to ourselves.”



Blayrious Comedy at Phil’s Tavern 6/18

“Show of hands,” Chesney said, “How many of you have contemplated suicide?”

He giggled as he held his hand up in the front of the dingy bar.

“I know I did. But I remember staring down at that handful of pills, wanting to end it all, when suddenly I thought, ‘Wait! I can’t do this!”

The crowd was rapt with attention, waiting to hear the uplifting, religious thought that must have crossed his mind.

“I have work in the morning. And if I die, that’s a no-call no-show!”

The crowd burst into laughter.

It was the first joke from the first comedian at the “Blayrious” show at Phil’s Tavern on June 18th, and it set the tone for an evening of real stand-up. The type of stand up that can only happen in a dark bar with 50 people crammed into it. No stage, no spot light – just a microphone and a group of strangers eager to laugh.

The show was refreshing for me, having spent the past few weeks reviewing “celebrity” comics on the comparatively lavish stage of the Charlotte Comedy Zone. There, the division between audience and comic is palpable. They are elevated onto a large, well-lit stage, with the spotlight on them and a mural of the Charlotte skyline behind them. They do their routine – the same one they’ve done in every city for the past few months – and then they go to their hotels.

But the atmosphere at Phil’s made no real division between performer and audience. In fact, there were many local comedians in the audience – each asking each other the age old question “Hey, are you going up?”

The show was a well-structured performance featuring Chesney Goodson, Mikee Steinberg, Ryan Van Genderen, Chris Layton, and Todd Riley. The show was produced and hosted by the eponymous and gregarious Blayr Nias.

After Chesney’s hilarious set, Mikee Steinberg took to the mic and related his woes with women – mainly that they won’t stop playing with his fro. Poor ol’ Steinberg’s act consisted of many tales of his ladykilling adventures – that never seem to work out quite how he expected.

Ryan Van Genderen, after enduring a sweet yet awkward intro from the host (who happens to be his girlfriend), killed with his observations on such subjects as race, Wal-Marts, and 2Chainz’s strange burial requests (“Is that an African-American’s sarcophagus here in this gentlemen’s club??”).

For his set, Chris Layton decided to go without the microphone. It was an interesting choice that paid dividends. Not only did some of the side-conversations from random patrons stop, but also it brought the room together in a communal, almost primal fireside story telling kind of way. His jokes were hilarious, as always, but it was really this sense of comedy as one guy talking in front of a room full of strangers that really hit home for me.

Todd Riley rounded out the show with his hilarious observations about life. I had seen him open for Rob Schneider, but the more intimate setting really worked to his advantage.

Blayr did a wonderful job planning, producing and promoting and hosting this show.  No matter where she performs, her beaming smile and warm attitude radiates throughout the room.

Blayr even planned a special food menu with items named after each comedian performing that night. An ingenious invention that surely raised sales of food that night – since each comic and their friends couldn’t help but “vote” with their mouths by ordering the burger of their favorite comedian.

The “Blayrious” show happens every other Wednesday at Phil’s Tavern on the corner of North Tryon and 5th street uptown. I highly encourage you to check out the next one if you’d like to understand what real comedy looks and feels like outside of the Comedy Zone.


Hey Guys!

If you’re on this page, then you probably know me. But if you don’t, my name is Zach Claywell and I am a retired Stand-Up Comedian in Charlotte, North Carolina. I gave up my lucrative (lol) stage career to focus on my illustrious writing career (lolol).

The Charlotte Comedy Scene is an awesome community made up of many wonderful, diverse, caring, cantankerous, witty, drunk, boisterous and all-around hilarious people.

I love the comedians in Charlotte, and I want you to love them too. That’s why I started LOLCLT. I want people who have never stepped on stage to feel like a part of this young city’s vibrant Charlotte Comedy Scene. 

But mostly, I just wanna help make you laugh out loud, Charlotte. 

Help me help you.