When the MRSOE came to town…

What do you get when you combine a diverse bunch of comedians, a multicultural crowd, and the Charleston Music Hall? You get the Most RACES Show On Earth. But all jokes aside, this unique comedy show brought to Charleston not only an unforgettable night, but true revelations on what unity looks like today. Here are some things we could all take from the show:

  1. MRSOE came, saw and conquered!

Stand up comedian and creator of the RACES show, Neil Bansil has often said that the goal of MRSOE is to simply bring people together – no matter race or background. And that’s exactly what happened. Whites, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Germans, Jamaicans and all those in between filled the Charleston Music Hall, truly proving that comedy is a universal language.

“MRSOE! promotes togetherness, and it also encourages those of different cultures to interact with each other.  People realize through the show that we’re all laughing at the same things, and it shows people that we all have something in common,” acknowledged Bansil.

  1.  It’s okay to laugh at race jokes.

Note, race jokes are funny, not racist. While picking at someone’s ethnicity or culture may get a bit uncomfortable at times, MRSOE taught us all that sometimes, what makes a great joke is truth and relating yourself to the punchlines. The times we laugh the most, are when we sit back and laugh at ourselves. Because lets be honest, even though all Black females can come to a consensus that they hate being asked to let others touch their hair, at the end of the day, these are shared experiences that are laughed at the most. And true, there are some strange and ironic parallels between southern plantation weddings and getting hitched at a concentration camp. (Thanks Jeremy McLellan!)

  1.  Charleston NEEDED the MRSOE.

No matter the location, discussions on race are hard to form and  are often ignored completely. After all, why bring up an uncomfortable conversation that can offend, anger or upset someone? But contrary to popular belief, in 2015, race is an issue that stretches beyond black and white boundaries, attacking all those belonging to different cultures and backgrounds. Looking for excuses to close off  such discussions only allow misconceptions, misunderstandings and eventually hate to spread. And amidst all the recent tragedies, angst, debates and activist movements concerning race in Charleston – Bansil’s unconventional, yet light method of addressing such a heavy topic, is exactly what was needed for the area.

“Prior to the recent racial events, there really has never been an event that was aimed towards bringing both white and black people together, as well as other cultures in the same room, at the same time, in downtown Charleston,” admitted Bansil. “I think MRSOE! was a catalyst for that.  It encouraged people who wouldn’t normally hang out together, to come and laugh as one.

  1.  The show continues.

If you didn’t have the chance to see MRSOE, don’t panic, you can binge-watch it all day long. Well… maybe not yet. Bansil commented on someday taking his show to TV, saying, “I would like the show to be a pipeline and a stepping stone for up-and-coming and established comedians of all cultures on their way to becoming famous.” And if that’s not enough, Bansil plans his show to gain worldwide attention.  “Once it gets to world status, we can start adding international talent to the shows!  It would truly be The Most RACES Show on Earth! once it gets to that level!”

Check out mrsoe.com for information about the show, comedians, and tour dates.

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Chelsea Anderson is the Blog Editor for CisternYard News. She is a senior studying Communication at the College. Her journalistic journey began in high school while working with WTGR news. On any given day, you can find her watching soap operas, Keeping Up with the Kardashians or taking an intriguing Buzzfeed quiz.

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