Spring Arts Preview 2023: Comedy critics' picks

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      The city has a long history of great comedy, but the closing of the two main clubs —Yuk Yuks and the Comedy Mix—means there’s no homebase for comics to form the kind of community necessary for a healthy, evolving scene. Fortunately, enterprising young comedians have been creating their own rooms to fill the gap. And double fortunately, the city has a thriving improv scene as well. So it’s not all doom and gloom, people! 

      Chill Pill Comedy

      At the Portside Pub, March 8 & March 22; Loft Lounge, every Thursday in March and April

      Talie Perry has launched her own brand of comedy shows, currently working out of several rooms throughout the city this spring. The highlight is the monthly Society Saturday Comedy series, held monthly at a secret venue, which is designed like a Speakeasy, with the location  of which is revealed after tickets are purchased. The Draw: A great show for die- hard comedy fans who are into the art of the craft and watching material develop.

      Joke City Pro-Comedy 

      At Community Pizza and Taps, March 9 and April 19

      Johnny Paul’s pulling together two comedy nights with some fellow local comics in the former Biercraft on Commercial Drive. The March 8 show will feature a diverse group, including K.C. Novak, Desmond Williams, Travis Watters, Robert Peng, Byron Bertram, and headlined by Paul. The Draw: Old school, no-holds-barred stand-up, in an intimate environment on the Drive

      Big Laughs Comedy presents Comedy Underground Fridays

      At 120 West Hastings Street, every Friday at 7:30pm and 10pm

      Mike Greenwood A DIY room  fills the comedy club void with his underground room, located in Gastown under what used to be Wildebeest. The shows feature local headliners popping by to work out new material, and offers a more consistent homebase for the local scene. The Draw: It’s a literal underground comedy club that’s not quite a comedy club, but maybe could one day be a comedy club? 

      Blind Tiger Comedy

      At China Cloud Studios, with two shows each on Wednesday and Saturday 

      The comedy group (and school!) has returned to in-person performances, producing weekly stand-up, improv and sketch shows and featuring founding members of the Sunday Service and Hip.Bang! improv troupes, as well as BTC faculty and students. The Draw: BTC is ground zero for every kind of comedy—as well as the finest up-and-coming talent—Vancouver has to offer.

      Full Pint Comedy

      At Castaway Bar & Kitchen, every Tuesday at 9pm

      Colin Sharp and Ryan Williams host the weekly local showcase, featuring top professional performers—acts you've seen on Netflix, CBC, Crave, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Just For Laughs, among others. The shows are fun and intimate, and the lineup varies from week to week. The Draw: Comedy in Kitsilano—with tacos on special!

      The Improv Centre

      At 1502 Duranleau Street, every Wednesday through Friday, and at least one show per weekend

      The former Vancouver TheatreSports has been rebranded and features a whole new cast of uber-talented performers for some of the highest quality improvisational comedy in the country. The schedule is stacked, and you really can’t go wrong with any of the shows. The Draw: Mind-bogglingly talented improvers take the audience on a wild ride of hilarity. 

      The MOTN

      At 1826 Triumph Street, every Thursday and Saturday

      Perhaps the most enigmatic and weirdest of the comedy rooms in Vancouver, the MOTN is both a comedy club and a tattoo studio run by 22-year-olds Austin Jamieson and his best friend Jake LaPierre. The shows include a Hot One’s-inspired comedy show, Hot Take and Movie Madness, where comics watch a movie alongside the audience. The Draw: Truly underground and cutting-edge comedy in the depths of East Vancouver.

      Tightrope Theatre

      At 2743 Main Street, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

      Formerly known as Sour Dog Theatre, Tightrope calls itself “Impro Theatre” (distinguishing itself from the related “improv”), focusing on the practices and games laid out by OG Keith Johnson. Tightrope opened its own space in 2022, offering a range of clever improv concepts, including an elimination-style show, improvised Shakespearean dramas—and more!  The Draw: A distinct flavour of improvisational comedy, in the middle of Mount Pleasant.