Lower Mainlanders are a funny bunch. They take things a little less seriously than their Eastern countrymen, dressing down for work and evenings out and taking a few more meetings on the golf courses and ski hills. Still, when it comes to funniness itself, there’s plenty a serious fan of humour. While there are only two real comedy clubs in the area, there are still plenty of spots to catch local and visiting talent, and fringe-y productions. Local comic Art Factora recommends a few places to check out the next time you need a good laugh.
One of the two pro spots, Laff Lines [pictured] is situated in New Westminster, an easy SkyTrain ride away for any seasoned Vancouverite. Housed in an old theatre, this is far from your usual dingy comedy setting. In business since 1989, this club brings in pros on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but also has amateur nights on Tuesday, where pros polish new material and newcomers step up to the mike. Seating 250 – 300 in both an upstairs banquet room and a downstairs theatre (for bigger names), this is a good spot to take a large group, or even a first date. Limited menu of pub-style food, too, if you’re hungry for some decent chicken strips of yam fries. 26 4th Street New Westminster, 604-525-2262.
The Comedy Mix
In downtown Vancouver, in The Century Plaza Hotel for the last eight years, The Comedy Mix is the other pro destination. Formerly Yuk Yuk’s, the club imports top North American stand up, and from beyond when they can. With a fine dining restaurant onsite, you may want to check out their Tuesday and Wednesday night laughter package, which includes a three-course dinner and VIP entrance to the comedy club, and there’s also a smallish menu at the club. 1015 Burrard Street, 604–684-5050.
The Giggle Dam Theatre
While not a true comedy club, the Port Coquitlam Giggle Dam dinner theatre always merits a mention. Since 2001, its talented performers have run skits, impersonations and musical parodies. Be warned: Attendees are often pulled in from the crowd to participate in the politically incorrect performances. A four-course dinner sets the tone for the evening; a few minor performances occur during dining, and then the real show begins. Shows usually run for three months, and reservations are mandatory. Book early. 2616 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam, 604-944-4453.
More Funny Business
There are a few other spots in the area worth mentioning that alternate comedy nights with other entertainment or dining, and there’s always a good list up at The Comedy Couch, if you are planning last-minute. Check out Richmond’s The River Rock Casino, which regularly brings in such heavy-hitters including Joan Rivers, Dana Carvey and Russell Peters. More casual acts can be seen in Kitsilano with the packed Wednesday night sessions at Corduroy Restaurant. Downtown at the Davie and Seymour’s Corner Bar, Monday nights are reserved for comedy; there’s an open mike session also on Mondays at the Kingston Taphouse. On Cambie, the Kino offers another hot night for comedy stars on Tuesdays and is the longest-running in Vancouver, bringing in the newest and brightest talent.
Image courtesy of Denis S. Hurd.