Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Canadian Comedy Road Trip

Canadian Comedian Sterling Scott
Thinking about planning a comedy road trip this summer? How about Canada? Although most Americans don't give it much thought, the fact is Canada is one huge goddamn country. It has a rich and crazy history as weird, sordid and glorious as the United States. It's definitely worth a visit to check out and experience the diverse Canadian comedy scene, especially if your looking to get out of Chicago for a bit and try something new.

When you hear the phrase "Canadian Comedy Scene" you may think of the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal or Second City Toronto, but you might not think Edmonton (birth place of Tommy Chong). Edmonton might seem like a small, quiet city... and you would be right. But that only makes it an ideal location for some of the best comedy in Canada complete with a thriving open mic scene. The Comic Strip, Rouge Lounge and Sunday Nights at The Druid are three very unique comedy experiences that you should check out if you happen to be passing through Edmonton. The Rouge Lounge is a favorite of the three, the food is amazing, has a private lounge area for comics waiting to go on stage, and gets a real audience that's ready to laugh and support comedy.

Comedian Sterling Scott, Drew Behm, K. Trevor Wilson and Mike Dambra are a few of the performers who you might see performing while in Edmonton. Sterling Scott has a weekly podcast with Drew Behm, has traveled all across Canada the U.S. and even over seas with notable performances at the Apollo theatre, Caesar’s Palace, Overseas performing for the troops, the just for laughs festival in Montreal, and as a writer and actor on the Canadian hit television show This Hour has 22 minutes.

From Edmonton it's only another 16 hours to Vancouver. Explore the city or go hang out on Vancouver Island for while. What’s there to do on Vancouver Island? It’s a great place to recharge those creative batteries and write a screen play or just hang out and party on the beach. While in Vancouver be sure to take in some shows at venues like Yuk Yuk'sThe Comedy Mix and The Laff Lines Comedy Club.

Comedy Bar - Toronto
If Vancouver is not your thing or just too bloody far... Go the OTHER direction toward Toronto. It’s 40 hour road trip from Edmonton (about 8 hours from Chicago). Be sure to give yourself a few days to take it all in though, because the Toronto comedy scene is world famous and very deep with Comedy club and showcase options such as:
Comedy Bar 
Absolute Comedy 
The Jokebox
Altdot Comedy Lounge
Chuckle Co. 

Catch 23
Sunday Night Live
One Hour Fun Hour

Also keep Canadian festivals like the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and the Halifax Comedy Festival (based out of Nova Scotia) on your radar as well, and don’t forget about Canadian cities like Mississauga and of course Montreal. The Canadians love comedy and there are very few cities up here that don’t have a comedy club or weekly comedy night going on. As a matter of fact, let them know you are a comedian and the border guards will let you in without even glancing at your passport. So, when considering branching out in your comedy adventures don’t forget Canada and all that it has to offer. Check out badslava.com for Canada open mics or your local trusted comedy guru.

Co-written by:
Joey Flett
Ruth Ruhnke
James Allen Kamp - Editor