If there is ever a time to need a good laugh, it’s right now—as the skies darken, the weather worsens, and the prospects of home ownership, a healthy environment, or an optimistic future have gone right out the window (sorry).
But somehow there is still humour to be found in this world, and it is unearthed by the fine folks at Vancouver’s various comedy studios and improv troupes. From weekly performances to one-night-only specials, and stand-up shows to improvised shenanigans, there are a whole lot of comedic picks to check out this fall that will leave a stitch in your side and, if only briefly, make you remember that this life ain’t all so bad.
The MOTN, October 7
Heavyweights on the touring comedy scene, Marito Lopez and Bobby Warrener are back in Vancouver for one night only at The MOTN. These two Canadian funnymen have performed at Just For Laughs, Winnipeg Comedy Fest, and more, and will be debuting new stand-up material that have on good authority will make you LOL IRL.
CoWork Chilliwack Studio, starting October 7
A new professional improv troupe in the Fraser Valley called Very Very Improv Theatre is launching a recurring show in Chilliwack. Happening the first Saturday of every month, this soon-to-be improv staple will feature city-quality comedy talent out in the ‘burbs.
The Lido, October 17
Get ready to laugh alongside some of the coolest cats in East Van at The Lido’s stand-up comedy show. Hosted by Colleen Thompson, this lineup of comedians includes Randy Myers, Eve Ghostkeeper, and Brenda Prince.
Tightrope Theatre, October 27 and 28
A completely improvised murder mystery solved in real time, Murder She Improvised was first created at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta and is heading to the Tightrope Theatre for two shows this October. Each of the shows will be different, exploring a new location and featuring a new cast of characters. The only real constant? There will be murder. Because nothing raises the stakes quite like a dead body in the room.
Tightrope Theatre September 29, October 27, November 24
This LGBTQ2S+ improv comedy show incorporates drag, improv, standup, and more all while showcasing queer characters and stories. Hosted by QueerProv, a society that aims to give voice to the community through improv theatre, Mandy & Friends will feature some of Vancouver’s silliest and most diverse talents.
Underground Comedy Club, Friday nights
A professional show that consistently sees Vancouver’s best comedians show up with their best material, The Pro Show at the Underground Comedy Club is the place to be for a guaranteed laugh. A time limit of 10 minutes per comedian and up to 10 comedians per show makes for a revolving door of a stage that has something for everyone. Plus, it offers the chance to say, years from now, that you got to see so-and-so back in their Underground Comedy Club days.
Underground Comedy Club, Wednesdays in October
Feeling Lucky? Lucky Lotto at Underground Comedy Club will see seven spots in the lineup drawn from a bucket, allowing amateur comics to hone their material. It also makes for the perfect spot to catch pro comics trying out their newest stuff. And at just $5 a show, it’ll make you feel like you already won the lottery.
China Cloud, Saturday nights
The comedic chops of Maarten Bayliss, Syd Campbell, Ronald Dario, Kerri Donaldson, Allie Entwistle, Tom Hill, Alyssa Hirose, Devin Mackenzie, and Kevin Vida collide at the China Cloud every Saturday night for an incredibly rewarding show. Because we all deserve a treat sometimes, right? If there’s ever a group that knows how to perfectly play off one another, it’s this one right here.
The Cultch and Tightrope Improv, October 10 to 15
One of North America’s longest-running improv festivals, the Vancouver Improv Festival, returns with a number of shows, workshops, and celebrations of all things comedy. Bringing international improvisers to Vancouver, the festival also aims to raise the profiles of local talent and allow for the collaboration that comes with a mix of styles. This is Vancouver’s improv scene at its absolute best.
The Improv Centre, select dates until October 28
A mysterious murder. A cast of characters that could be innocent bystanders or murderous suspects. And one audience member chosen to play detective and blow the whole thing wide open. Stage Fright 2: Murder at the Disco! combines the classic trope of a murder mystery with the stylings of a ‘70s disco to create an atmosphere that is as fun as it is thrilling. This is your chance to get onstage and play your very own version of a debonair detective.
The Improv Centre on October 22
Pre-written jokes at the Improv Centre?! Don’t worry, it’s not actually blasphemy; it’s a live stand-up comedy showcase hosted by Lukas Purm and featuring a full lineup of international comics and local pros as seen on Just For Laughs, CBC, Netflix, House of Comedy, and more.
Oceana PARC Playhouse, November 4
White Rock Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Night series continues with Damonde Tschritter, who has had comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, and Comedy Network, and has shared the stage with comedy royalty like Tim Allen, the late Robin Williams, and the late Bob Saget. This marks an impressive return to the mic after the comedian’s near-death hospital scare earlier this year. We’d say more, but we’ll let him talk about it (and joke about it, obviously) instead.