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Friday, June 22, 2012

This is what it's all about

I've said all along how I love having two professional comedy clubs in the city (and three if you include Lafflines in New West). This weekend really drives that point home. Check out this rundown:

The Comedy MIX, 1015 Burrard St, in the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa
Ryan Hamilton: tonight & tomorrow at 8:00 and 10:30 each night
You might not know him by name. You may not even know him by face. But he's hilarious. I first saw him on Last Comic Standing, where he progressed quite far. Since then I've seen what he can do live numerous times (and will be back for more on Saturday night). He's the total package: great delivery, naturally funny looks and strong writing.

Yuk Yuk's, 2837 Cambie St, at 12th
Norm Macdonald: tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 and 10:30 each night
You know him by name. You know him by face. He's also hilarious. He's perhaps best known for his 3-year turn behind the Weekend Update desk on Saturday Night Live, his various TV projects and movies, but he's always been first and foremost a stand-up comic. He's also just about the perfect late-night talk show guest ever. The last time he played Vancouver he was at the 950-seat River Rock Show Theatre so the chance to see him in an intimate nightclub is one you shouldn't pass up.

Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way
Russell Peters: Saturday at 8:00
A true Canadian superstar. There aren't many comics who can perform in sold-out arenas but he's been doing it for years after graduating from theatres by way of clubs. If you're like me and skeptical of the comedy experience in such a cavernous venue, fear not. It's not like the old days when Steve Martin was driven out of the scene. The sound is great and there are two huge screens to watch if you find yourself in the cheap seats.

Lafflines, 530 Columbia St., New Westminster
Simon King: tonight at 9:30, Saturday at 9:00
Simon's one of the many local comics who flies under the radar in their own hometown but who destroys on stages all over the country. His frenetic pacing leaves crowds breathless as he rails about stupidity and injustice. It's amazing how fast his mind works. And his mouth.

So you see, there's lots to choose from. And you can have your cake and eat it, too. With the exception of Peters, every other comic is on multiple times so you can work your schedule around catching all of them, if you want, especially given that both Hamilton and Macdonald also played on Thursday night.

As I said before, it's a good time to be a comedy fan in Vancouver.

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