Calgary is fortunate to have three comedy clubs active in the city, which brings a wide range of comedians from across North America as well as featuring local up and comers. Here’s a peak at some of the highlights of the next few months.
Kathleen McGee kicks off the highlight reel for Yuk Yuk’s. Appearing August 23 to 25, McGee is a slacker with a potty mouth that will have you laughing at her as often as you’re laughing with her. Following McGee, local boy Donovan Deschner hits the Yuk Yuk’s stage from August 31 to September 1. Deschner is in the middle of a wonderfully reckless experiment called “260 minutes,” celebrating seven years of doing standup by writing five minutes of new material each week and getting up in front of a live audience to perform it. He’s doing this every week for a year. There will be failures and wins, but he’ll end up with 260 minutes worth of material to mine by the end of it.
By mid-September (13 to 15), Nikki Glaser, the co-creator of the You Had to Be There podcast, takes over the club.
Perhaps that’s too ladylike. I mean, there’s McGee and now Glaser. Never fear, Bryan Callen (October 11 to 13) has your back (in a manly way, not in a mounting way). This guy was in the Hangover movies, but don’t hold that against him. His performances of his Man Class routine are funny if you’re into the whole testosterone thing.
Nothing, however, will prepare you for the set of balls on Ari Shaffir (November 1 to 3). Just look up his videos of the Amazing Racist, where he descends on some black neighbourhoods in L.A. dressed in a Klu Klux Klan robe. Yeah, I know. This one will be offensive and hilarious. Leave your scruples at the door.
THE COMEDY CAVE
The Cave doesn’t bring in the same big names as Yuk Yuk’s or The Laugh Shop, but that doesn’t mean a damn thing. Funny is funny.
Paul Ogata warms things up from September 25 to 30 with his small stature and big stage presence. In order to fill things out, Bob Biggerstaff follows Ogata (October 2 to 7). Biggerstaff’s laid-back style won him kudos on Last Comic Standing and if it’s good enough for the judges, it ought to be good enough for you.
Derek Lengwenus (November 6 to 11) gets a mention for his name alone, but the comedy helps, too. Check out his bit on his German father if you want to laugh and feel uncomfortable.
We’ll forgive Jeff Caldwell for calling himself “a standup guy” on his website and recommend you check him out from November 20 to 25. Caldwell skips the dirty bits and focuses on solid observational humour.
Come December, Jesse Joyce hits the stage (December 4 to 9). Looking and sounding like a “coked-up Dr. House” (his words, not ours), he’s actually not a cokehead, but he brings the same level of energy to his routine.
THE LAUGH SHOP
Did you know that Mariah Carey’s husband does standup comedy? Well, he does and he’s coming to Calgary from August 24 to 26. Oh, his name’s Nick Cannon.
From September 6 to 8, Matt Billon brings a more low-key performance to the Shop and probably won’t mention being married to a famous singer (no promises).
For me, Harland Williams (September 27 to 29) will forever be the sweet guy who accidentally kills a police horse with snacks in Half Baked (a seriously underrated movie), but he’s more than that. Goofy humour with a laid-back delivery equals a must-see.
Ramping up the star power, The Laugh Shop features Tim Meadows from October 18 to 20. It’s impossible to list all of his notable work, from movies (The Ladies Man, Walk Hard, Coneheads and many more) to his long-running stint on Saturday Night Live, you should probably just go see his act.
However, if you’re more into the group thing, check out Broken Lizard with Steve Lemme and Kevin Heffernan on October 25 to 27. Super Troopers. Enough said.