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Friday, March 23, 2012

Showcases, openings and roasts, oh my

I just bought my ticket to tonight's roast of Terry David Mulligan at Federico's Supper Club on Commercial. Yes, you heard me: bought. I'm just a huge fan of the roast. Any roast, be it Dean Martin, Comedy Central, live, or beef. Local man about town Patrick Maliha does regular monthly shows at the club featuring just stand-up, but tonight ventures into the world of the celebrity skewer.

I love the venue. It's an old-time supper club. When I went a few months ago, I walked into a bygone era. Large screen TVs were silently playing old black and white Italian movies and the ambience, with a formal maitre d' leading us to our table, was retro cool. The price was fifty bucks but totally worth it. You got an excellent three-course dinner followed by the comedy show which in turn was followed by a live disco-like band fronted by Federico himself as the tables and chairs were pushed aside for dancing. I'd totally go again.

Tonight's roast is a little different, being a fundraiser for the Vancouver Food Bank. So tickets are in the $100 range, but this time you get appies, a drink, a four-course meal, the roast, and dancing. (I'm not a dancer but I always like to watch people wiggle and silently ridicule them.) Since we're not all millionaires, the club has opened the roast-only part of the evening to the public for only twenty bucks. So I snatched up a ticket. On the dais will be comics (and all former What's So Funny? guests) Tanyalee Davis (Doug Stanhope just tweeted about his friend today), Bob Robertson & Linda Cullen (of Double Exposure fame), and Carter Hortie. They'll be joined by Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford of Urban Rush, TDM ghost writer and Province journo Glen Schaefer, and the unemployed David Pratt (who should be the local roast's comedic equivalent of Comedy Central's choice of The Situation to roast Charlie Sheen). Erica Sigurdson was also on the bill but I'm guessing she's a scratch since she is replacing Ali Wong, who had to cancel at the Comedy MIX this weekend.

Terry David Mulligan is quite amazing. I'm old. We all know that. But I distinctly remember being about 12 and some of my dad's musician friends making fun of him. How is it that I look older than him now?

So that's where I'll be tonight. Last night I was at the official opening of the new Yuk Yuk's on Cambie and 12th. (Read my full review for the Georgia Straight here.) It was a sold-out affair and the place looks great. Local franchisee Garry Yuill got up on stage to give his thank yous and try his hand at amateur comedy, followed by the man himself, Mark Breslin, who chose a young lass from the front row to come up and cut the ribbon. Then Jay Brown got the comedy to an official start, followed by Sam Easton, Bryan O'Gorman and finally the headliner, Emo Philips. Regular readers know I'm jazzed about finally having two legitimate clubs in Vancouver proper. I think it just might be able to work. I'll continue to patronize both Yuk Yuk's and the Comedy MIX on Burrard. It's good for comedy.

On Wednesday was the soft opening, where twenty locals got up and did roughly five minutes each for Breslin. He told me he was impressed (that interview will run on What's So Funny? a week Sunday; this Sunday we'll go live with Jay Brown). Chris Molineux, the new amateur night booker, hosted and brought up, in order:
  1. Ben McGinnis
  2. Dan Willows
  3. Chris James
  4. Rachel Burns
  5. Johnny Scoop
  6. Larke Miller
  7. Darren Elmore
  8. Jesse Carroll
  9. Art Factora
  10. Katie-Ellen Humphries
  11. Andy Cañete
  12. Benjamin Valentine
  13. Sean Emeny
  14. Kevin Banner
  15. Dennis Litonjua
  16. Jared Borland
  17. Ed Hill
  18. Chris Gaskin
  19. Andy Kallstrom
  20. Katharine Ferns
So that's that. And there's plenty more comedy around town this weekend I won't get to. I mentioned Sigurdson headlining the MIX. I also see former Madly Off in All Directions host Lorne Elliott is playing the Centennial Theatre in North Van tonight, and Giants V: Murder by Death is at the Cultch tomorrow. I'm sure there's more, too. Go see something.

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