Montreal’s comedy scene is often focused on the summer’s massive international yuks fest, Just for Laughs. But you know that any city that can support that much funny must have a full year’s worth of Hahas in it…
If you read this blog during the summer, you may have gathered that the Just for Laughs festival is a personal favorite. I mean, what could be better than a night out on the town filled to the brim with laughter? Regular readers of this blog will also remember when I talked to local funnyman Mike Paterson in order to get some behind-the-scenes festival tips. So, when preparing a post on where the Montreal funny is during the rest of the year, it seemed like a good opportunity to ask him his thoughts on the matter.
“The Montreal scene is pretty radical. I headline the Comedy Works twice a year and we pretty much sell it out every night (the place holds a hundred). The Nest also has shows all year long with kick-ass headliners and me hosting,” says Paterson. “People actually go to see comedy in Montreal. There’s open mic nights where a young dude can get better and there really is a crowd to support it. Being English in a French city makes it ripe for comedic originality. And the French give you soooooooo much material.”
So, with Paterson’s tips in hand, here’s some places to check out comedy in Montreal, something very close to 365 days a year:
- COMEDY WORKS: A Montreal institution (and frequent Just for Laughs collaborator), Comedy Works has 6 nights-a-week worth of laughter-filled stages for you. Monday night is “Open Mic Night”, open to one and all, and Tuesday and Wednesday nights are taken over by On the Spot Improv. And finally, Thursday-Saturday is their “International headliners” night, which is usually a headliner mixed with a couple opening yucksmiths. Up next: Edmonton’s Dana Alexander
COMEDY NEST: Officially “Ernie Butler’s Comedy Nest”, named after the colourful Butler, who was dubbed Montreal’s “kingpin of comedy”, The Nest is located in the legendary Forum building which used to be home to the Montreal Canadiens. The Nest’s schedule is pretty straightforward: on Wednesday nights they have Open Mic, then solo comedians take over the club for the Thursday-Saturday swing: this weekend is Canadian Comedy Awards’ Best Male Standup nominee, Scott Faulconbridge. The following week is Atlanta’s Ward Anderson.
KRIS BONAPARTE’S COMEDY LOUNGE: Bonaparte’s Comedy lounge is a monthly event held at Karina’s Upstairs Club Lounge. For this month’s installment, which throws down this Saturday, November 7th, the Comedy Lounge welcomes rising star Andrew Earles, comedic beat-boxer EJ Brule(?!), as well as openers Dan Derkson and Bruno Ly, Mike Rita and Michael Lifshitz.
JUST FOR LAUGHS: Yes the festival takes place during the summer. But a quick scan of the website reveals that they’ve got stuff going on all year: Quebecois superstar Gregory Charles has a series of Montreal shows coming and Elon Gold, back by popular demand as they say, returns for one night with his show, “Half-Jewish, Very Jewish”.