Big Sky and the Little Guy
The last time I performed out west was at a club called the Comedy Cave. All I remember was that it was cold, around Christmas or New Year’s, and the show was not going to go on with 10 or fewer people in the crowd. Thankfully I brought three with me that bolstered the numbers to a whopping 13, so yeah, show on. Following the two shows I had out at The Laugh Shop in Calgary, I was returning to Toronto to host a show that apparently God wasn’t really too keen on, and found more than a few truly pleasant surprises during the Harvest Fest out in Ingersoll. Yes, Ingersoll.
Firstly, out West. What was supposed to be middling for three nights turned into hosting the first night and then middling the second. Nice work, since when I go into a new room, I find it a bit easier to host in that you’re able to talk to the crowd a bit more, feel out the room, engage them, yadda x 3. Long story short, the rooms were full and in both night’s cases, the crowds were slow to warm up, but once there, the laughs were nice and sustained. Got to meet some great talent in James Ball, Brian Stollery, and Kevin Stobo. Great working with these gents and would do so again any day of the week and twice on Saturday. Maybe next time I’m out that will happen. If you get the chance to get to The Laugh Shop, take it. Nice club and truly had a fantastic and comfortable time on stage. Oh, and a small congrats shout-out to Brian who after asking me to plug his entry in the XM Radio “Canada’s Next Top Comic” contest, won it. See? Told you I can host the crap out of a room.
Next up, a return home and a return to normalcy as my legs just begin to talk to me again after a climb up to the could-be-a-tea-house-but-is-now-just-an-abandoned-wooden-structure atop Mount Lady MacDonald.
Side Note: Two things strike me about the abandoned tea house on top of an Alberta mountain; a) How hammered were the owners that came up with this business plan, or did they simply miss the “Location! Location! Location!” day at business school, and b) Want to keep an abandoned structure from smelling like hobo-pee? Put it on top of a mountain.
In the podcast studio bounded returning friend and thirsty guy Kevin Brauch who came, recanted, mixed drinks, and had a dandy time. Add to this that while these shenanigans carried on, the city of Vaughn was busy having a good chunk of its building’s roofs being yanked off by a series of tornados that turned the evening sky of Toronto the same hue as a Post-It Note. So, God did not want this show or the “Comedy Above the Pub” show to occur. Thank God for heathens, since the Thursday night show was full to capacity. Great time had by all, we remained dry and the pub retained its lid.
So how do you cap off a night like that? How about a trip to Ingersoll? Yup, headed out to the Harvest Festival to perform an evening of comedy at the Ingersoll Theatre of the Performing Arts, “ITOPA” in the local vernacular. This was a show put on by CJ McCarroll with me as host (yes, I’m as shocked as you), Brenda Lennie, Eric Clifford, Brian Hope, and headliner Doug Funk. Brenda I met for the first time that night, and Doug I’ve known since he and I started plying our trade in Kitchener-Waterloo at a time so long ago, they didn’t even have “knock knock” jokes.
I love getting back to small towns and especially a theatre venue that has a well laid-out stage and full audience. The venue was perfect and from the first joke, I could tell that this would be a crowd that you could have fun and play with. I was not disappointed. I pretty much knew as I brought the acts to the stage that they were going to kill, and they did. Brilliant night with the only rocky bits trying to find a place in Ingersoll that remains open past the time that “Law & Order” finishes, and the point where Brian, Eric, and I sat on the 401 for almost an hour due to construction.
Thanks for the nice roads, boys. You’ll forgive me if I typically don’t like seeing them at 2:00am. Stick it.