The place to be …

If there was any doubt that Dickens Pub was the place to be for Comedy in Calgary on Monday nights, the Aug 13, 2007 version of Comedy Monday Night should squash it like a bug. The thing about Monday at Dickens is that you never really know who’s going to walk through the door and wander up on stage. Its always a great lineup for Comedy Monday no matter what the date, but sometimes the stars line up just the right way to produce something truly special, and Aug 13 was one of those nights.

Given the comedians that showed up and played, it was pretty much impossible for the show to go any way but great. In addition to the excellent host, James Moore, and regular Comedy Monday Night stars like Daryl Makk, Karen O’Keefe, and Vong Sundara, and newcomer-star Stephanie Foley, a truly stellar lineup of comedy graced the stage last night. 3 of the funniest women in Canada came down to close the show for us. Cory Mack (who, for the record, was in the room for my very first stand-up set ever, way back in 1992 … sorry if that dates us Cory … I’m sure you were like 6 then, right? ;-)) started the final trio out in fine form, followed by a great set by Allyson June Smith. Erica Sigurdson finished the night for us with some of the best material I’ve heard at Dickens in my time down there.

As if that weren’t enough, Mike Patterson rolled in from Montreal to do some very funny stuff about crack addicts, and Charles Payne showed up to take the bullet for everyone and do a great job starting off the show. As the cherry on top of a perfect dessert, switch night (where some comedians decide to do each other’s material for the night) not only gave us a dozen or so very funny callbacks from various performers, but also a wonderful channeling act by Lori Gibbs, and Vong Sundara and Karen O’Keefe literally brought the house down by doing each other’s shows. I’m not sure you can truly say you’ve seen comedy until you’ve watched a 6 foot redhead woman doing material as “the official spokesperson of young, gay, super-cute Asians” and vice-versa … while both Vong and Karen are hilarious in their own right, last night’s switch session between them reached new heights of comedy.

Its always fun for me to come into Calgary to do a Dickens show, and last night was certainly no exception … it was truly an honour to share the stage with so many funny people. Comedy Monday Night at Dickens is always a good show, but last night is a great example of just how much value you get for the VERY reasonable cover charge of $0. There’s really nowhere else that I have seen where you can wander in off the street and see 4, or 5, or 6, or more of the best comedians in Canada. The first time I went down to Dickens, back in May or so, I called it the “best kept comedy secret in Calgary” and last night’s show just proved the point. At least half a dozen top name headliners walked up on stage last night, comedians that sell out theaters and arenas for solid ticket prices all over Canada, and the audience got it all for the price of a beer or two. You’d be hard pressed to find a better show than last night’s lineup and you simply won’t find a better value in comedy, IMO … anywhere.

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