Feel like laughing? Get in line. But keep your distance.
The upcoming shows this season aren’t quite what they have been in years past, both in star power and in number, but the quality is just as strong.
We’ve lost Bob Saget, Miranda Sings, and Dara Ó Briain at least, but their shows will be rescheduled in 2021 (COVID willing).
In the meantime, there are a handful of venues and shows still operating in the city.
(Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at the Hidden Wonders Showroom, in a secret location in New Westminster)
Magician Farquhar does everything in twos: he’s a two-time world champion of magic, and has fooled Penn & Teller twice. Okay, maybe not everything, but that’s pretty significant.
The Draw: You’ve seen him on TV; now see him in his own intimate theatre. It’s not often a performer of his calibre is available to locals throughout the year. After decades of touring the world, the Maple Ridge resident took out a three-year lease on his new home. Let the world come to him for a change.
Target Audience: Who doesn’t love to be tricked? Farquhar has filled the show with new magical effects, all designed to be interactive yet noncontact.
(Thursdays at Little Mountain Gallery)
This long-running comedy showcase is a Vancouver tradition. Little Mountain Gallery is intimate at the best of times. But filling the gaps between seats these days are extra laughs.
The Draw: The always personable ringmaster Ross Dauk not only knows how to tell a joke (and not tell the same ones week after week), but he also has an eye for talent, stacking the show with four different quality comics each week.
Target Audience: The hip, the cool, the alternative. You know who you are.
Rawsome Comedy Presents
(Wednesdays to Saturdays at the Keto Caveman Cafe)
Suzy Rawsome is doing her damnedest to keep comedy alive during the pandemic, presenting all styles on various nights, from amateur to X-rated to all-women shows to just plain old regular standup.
The Draw: We’ll pick one to highlight, but any night will suffice. On Saturday (September 19) at 9:30, a killer lineup with local hero Ivan Decker (who’s wisely spending time in his hometown rather than his new home of Los Angeles) headlining, along with the reliably hilarious Patrick Maliha, Jane Stanton, Dave Harris, and Mike Greenwood.
Target Audience: The regularity of these shows gives one the comforting illusion that things are still the same.
Hard 2 Kill
(To September 20 at Performance Works)
Veteran standup comic Richard Lett knows how to put on a one-man show. A natural follow-up to his Sober But Never Clean that was both a heartfelt and hilarious look at his recovery from alcohol addiction, and One Nut Only, which detailed his bout with testicular cancer.
The Draw: The title says it all. After kicking addiction’s and cancer’s asses, Lett recently knocked out COVID-19, making him truly Hard 2 Kill.
Target Audience: Lett has been a polarizing force in the comedy community over the decades (as detailed in the documentary feature made on him, Never Be Done: The Richard Glen Lett Story), but it’s a kinder, gentler Lett these days even with that gargling-with-razor-blades voice.
Talking Comedy and Music Comedy
(September 17 at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy in New Westminster)
The newest club in the Lower Mainland is currently the only operating one. Edmonton-based Bronson owns comedy venues here and in Edmonton, Minnesota, and Phoenix, doing his best to keep the laughs alive, if nothing else.
The Draw: Two of the best—and silliest—improvisers in the business are also both musically gifted. And by gifted we mean competent on the guitar. You may not recognize David Milchard and Ken Lawson with their shirts on—they’re both long-standing, er, members of the Comic Strippers. Milchard also cocreated and starred in YouTube’s Convos With My 2-Year-Old.
Target Audience: Fans of the straight-faced Milchard’s old duo It’s Good to Know People will get a kick out of his new formation with old rubber face Lawson.
(September 17 to 20 at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy)
Montreal standup Seguin charms one and all with his French accent as he delivers killer jokes. Who cares if his accent isn’t real? His punch lines are.
The Draw: Seguin is a regular on CBC Radio’s The Debaters and plays festivals all across the country. He’ll play to smaller crowds than he’s used to (thanks for nothing, COVID!), but the House of Comedy can still seat 130 out of it usual capacity of 300.
Target Audience: In a season of unpredictability—we simply don’t know if shows will keep going or be put on hold again—catch this guy while you can. He’s a legit heavyweight on the Canadian comedy scene.