7 can’t-miss prospects at Vancouver's JFL NorthWest comedy fest

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      Editor’s choice

      Ryan Hamilton

      Maybe it’s not all that noteworthy to get a Netflix special, but they don’t just hand them out to any comic with footage, although sometimes it seems that way. Hamilton’s, suitably titled Happy Face, given his perpetual grin, happens to be one of the really good ones. That will come as no surprise if you’ve seen him in person at the Comedy MIX here over the years, or in one of his many late-night talk-show sets. But because of the special, not to mention recent performances with Jerry Seinfeld and Gad Elmaleh at Carnegie Hall, more fans are coming to know of this singular talent—and no doubt will turn out in droves at his two JFL NorthWest gigs. And if this is the first you’re hearing of him, get on it!

      Ryan Hamilton is at the Rio Theatre Friday and Saturday (March 2 and 3) at 7 p.m.


      The Alternative Show

      It’s loose and fun, plus you get a sampling of the fest’s finest. And Andy Kindler hosts!
      March 8 to 10 at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club

      Aunty Donna: Big Boys

      It’s not all standup at JFL NorthWest: these Aussie sketch performers are big shots Down Under.
      March 9 at the Rio Theatre

      Tom Papa

      Another standup in the orbit of Jerry Seinfeld, but Papa’s got more attitude than his famous friend.
      March 2 and 3 at Yuk Yuk’s

      Rachel Feinstein

      Speaking of famous friends, Feinstein is besties with Amy Schumer—and just as inappropriate.
      March 9 at the Biltmore Cabaret

      Ari Shaffir’s Renamed Story Teller Show

      Long-form storytelling of the highest—and funniest—order, as told, and lived, by comedians.
      March 4 at the Biltmore Cabaret


      New this year

      Vancouver Comedy Awards

      Awards shows can be tedious. Who really cares about best sound engineering? This brand-new event celebrates the weird, wacky, and wonderful in the world of Vancouver comedy at the Fox Cabaret on Monday night (March 5). Along with best album, breakout artist, and favourite comedy room, you get such categories as best dressed, biggest humble bragger, and most enlightening provocateur. Chosen by a panel of veteran comics and industry folks, the lucky winners will receive a Golden Kevin (JFL NorthWest’s owl mascot) and other stuff. The event is hosted by Graham Clark (who’s nominated in five categories, none of them best beard) and Talent Time’s Paul Anthony (shut out). (The latter is shown here.) You’ll never get this close to the nominees at the Oscars.