When Joe Zimmerman couldn't keep up with the multitude of reading assignments in his English literature class at Davidson College, he used his sharp wit to make it through classroom discussions.
"I ran into a guy after class who said, 'You are the reason I show up for British romanticism,' " said Zimmerman, one of the members of the Beards of Comedy, which will perform at 9 p.m., Friday at Sky City.
It was comments like those that caused Zimmerman to realize he was funny and to try comedy as a career.
After three years as an individual stand-up comic, he branched out for something different and found three funny friends who all had "amazing" beards. At the time, Zimmerman didn't have one. That has since changed.
"The Beards are all my friends. We like each other's comedy," he said. "I thought it would be fun to tour with friends like a band."
Andy Sandford, TJ Young and Dave Stone round out the Beards. They have been working together for more than two years.
"It is stand-up based; there are some skits and some music," he said.
While all four are from the Southeast, Zimmerman said people should not expect to see a Jeff Foxworthy-type show.
"It's definitely a cliché about Southern humor with the Blue Collar tour. There are no redneck jokes here," he said.
The Beards of Comedy recently toured out West. Zimmerman said the reviews and the experience were great.
"We did a show with Brian Regan who is one of our heroes," he said. (Regan performed at Bell Auditorium in January.)
This show marks a return to the Southeast and a return to the Augusta area.
"We are going to Asheville, Greenville, Wilmington, Athens and Augusta. We've been to all of those cities before. We are seeing some really good advance ticket sales, and that's cool. We are starting to build a following," Zimmerman said.
For those who have never heard of the Beards of Comedy, Zimmerman has plenty of reasons why people should come.
"You should go to a Beards of Comedy show because it's pretty much the best time of your life. If you are single, you will find a soul mate; if you are married, you will find renewed passions. If you are broke, you will have a million dollars," said the comedian.