Strange Days Indeed …

This past Monday was the third week of preliminaries for the Alberta edition of the Great Canadian Laugh Off. I was in Calgary for some other things, and figured I’d pop in to check out the show, even though I’d been eliminated from the competition the previous week. Several of my friends and acquaintances were on the bill for Feb 18th, including Lori Gibbs, Kelly D’Amour, Katryna Chan, and Jenny Wynter, and I was happy to be able to show support for them, and check out the show as a whole. It turned out to be both enjoyable and surreal.

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The Great Canadian Laugh Off – Preliminary Rounds

Yuk Yuk's Laugh Off LogoThis coming Monday, Feb 11th 2008, I’ll be doing my set for the preliminary round of the Great Canadian Laugh Off. Sponsored by Yuk Yuk’s, the Alberta preliminaries are being held at Dickens through the month of January, in place of the regular Comedy Monday Night show. There are three preliminary rounds, with the top three from each night advancing to the final round on Feb 25th. The first preliminary round ran this past Monday, on Feb 4th, and I’d like to extend my congratulations to Amanda Perrin, Dan Guiry, and Chris Gordon for advancing to the final round. Hopefully, I’ll see you guys in the finals on the 25th.

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Six minutes at the Comedy Cave

LyleBateman-ComedyCave-29Jan2008-captureTuesday night I was invited back down to the Comedy Cave for my second guest spot on their stage. Like last time, the crowd was amazing, and the room was very comfortable. The headliner this week is the amazing Sugar Sammy, a Canadian with East-Indian descent who’s edgy humour had the crowd rolling. Terry Hollas is the host for this week, and the opening act on Tuesday was an improv troupe called the ImproManiacs. The order was a bit different than I first expected, as the ImproManiacs went up first and did 20 minutes or so of improv, while I took the “middle” spot in the show with a quick set just before Sugar Sammy took the stage. I was kind of surprised by the format at first, but it worked into a very smooth show that probably flowed better than it would have if the improv had broken up the stand-up sets. Good call Terry.

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A long and windy road

2008Jan21-Dickens 070Its been a pretty full week so far, and a lot of fun. From Pauly Shore on Saturday night, I was back home for a day to rest a bit, then right back at it again in Calgary with two more shows. As usual, I was down at Dickens Pub for Comedy Monday Night, and it was another fun night. Jane Stanton headlined the night, and she did a great job of closing out a VERY long show. Other honourable mentions towards the end of the evening go to Trent McClellan, and Chris Gordon for his wonderful method of dispatching Betty the Heckler. Other highlights of the night were Katryna Chan’s decision to try and fill the niche that Julia Stretch’s departure will leave in the Calgary comedy scene by turning gay, Mike Tod’s impressions, and Julia herself also dealing with our friend Betty. I took the chance to try out some new material, and there were quite a few other comics on the line-up for the night. Kerry’s original blog was lost in the ether, but there’s a very nice highlight form of the whole night posted here.

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Tuesday at the Comedy Cave

Its been a busy week. Along with finalizing the plans for the Pauly Shore show in Lethbridge on Saturday, I had a chance to step onto the Comedy Cave stage for the first time, with a 5 minute guest spot. I must say, I enjoyed the experience immensely. The headliner this week, Jason Robinson from Arkansas, rocked the house with his unique brand of southern charm.  I’m still chuckling over the “bruncle” bit. Also on the show were Donovan Deschner as MC, and Terry Hollas doing the middle spot

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Laughing at the Shamrock

This past Thursday night I stepped out of my normal routine a little bit to do a show organized by a Calgary comedian I’d never worked with before, Stu Hughes, the main force behind the Calgary FunnyFest, from May 1-11. The show on Thursday Jan 10th, at the Shamrock hotel in Calgary, was essentially a late Christmas party, and appreciation night for the volunteers of FunnyFest. Along with myself and Stu, Derek Sweet, Daniel Tsedey, Kelly D’Amour, Kevin Gillis, Paul Kuster, and Jenny Wynter all came down for sets, and the whole show was MC’d admirably by Amy Trofimuk, wounded wing and all. Amy is always wonderful to work with, and she’s such a cute little thing … just like a porcelain doll, and apparently just as fragile.

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Another year of Comedy Monday Night

TonyBinns02 StephFoleyAndDarylMakk MikeTod02 KarenOKeefe01

January 8th, 2008 marked the first edition of Comedy Monday Night for the year, and as usual, it was loads of fun. There was a huge line up of comics for the show, perhaps the longest line up I’ve seen at Dickens. By the end of the night, we’d seen no fewer than 17 comics on stage, ranging in experience from first-timers to the Dickens stage, right up to seasoned pros. In addition to seeing some old friends for the first time this year, I also had a chance to catch a few shows I’d never seen before, and I’m glad I did.

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