Comedy heavies set to kill
We could take up twice the space 2
with the number of quality acts coming up this fall. Other than the ones below, you should check out Colin Mochrie and Deb Mcgrath, Nick Offerman, Deanne Smith, Erik Griffin, Rob Pue, and a live taping of CBC Radio’s The Debaters. Let Google lead the way to info on those shows—and others you may find along the way.
TAYLOR WILLIAMSON (At Yuk Yuk’s on September 29 and 30) Taylor Williamson’s got talent. That’s what the America’s Got Talent judges think. He was the Season 8 runner-up, losing to a dancer who wasn’t anywhere near as funny. The Draw: He’s only 31, but Williamson has been at it a long time. He did his first late-night-talk-show set when he was just 20. Target Audience: He’s a young Mitch Fatel type, if that means anything to you. If not, just go and enjoy his awkward silliness.
BILL MAHER (At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 14) Say what you will about Bill Maher (and nobody’s short on opinion about the guy), but with the current president of the Divided States of America, his voice is needed more than ever. The Draw: His HBO series Real Time makes political discussions fun, but here he’s unfettered by guests; it’s the monologue portion of the show on steroids. Target Audience: Some progressives call Maher an Islamophobe. Christians don’t like his strong atheist views. And Trumpists think he’s fake news. Everyone else, though, thinks he’s a comedic voice of reason.
JUST FOR LAUGHS COMEDY TOUR CANADIAN
(At the Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey on October 13; at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts on October 14) Death, taxes, and the annual Just for Laughs tour. That’s all we can count on. Every fall we know the good folks in Montreal will bring a top-notch gala show to the rest of Canada. The Draw: The suave and sexy Sugar Sammy hosts, bringing out U.S. comics Alonzo Bodden and Gina Brillon. It’s a smaller group than normal, but that means more time for each of them. Target Audience: When JFL approves of a comic, you know you’re getting a solid professional who knows how to deliver laughs. Here, you’re getting three, all headliners in their own right.
LACHLAN PATTERSON (At the Comedy MIX on October 19 and 21); PHIL HANLEY (At the Comedy MIX from October 26 to 28) We’ve put together these two different shows here because L.A.’S Patterson and New York’s Hanley both started in Vancouver. Both have become big shooters in comedy and are playing the downtown club one week apart. The Draw: Hanley and Patterson headline all the top North American clubs, but it’ll be a homecoming at the MIX, where it all began for them. Target Audience: Nostalgic Vancouverites and those who want to get in on what’s hot before they feel like they’re just bandwagon-jumping. GAD ELMALEH (At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on November 4) Elmaleh is as big as it gets in standup comedy—in Europe. And he’s getting close to that stature on this side of the world, too. The Moroccan Frenchman is a workhorse in his quest to conquer America and is impressing crowds and fellow comics alike. The Draw: It’s hard enough speaking a second language, let alone being funny in it. On purpose. Elmaleh speaks four languages, but he’ll be performing in just the Queen’s English. Target Audience: Cosmopolitans and open-minded citizens who don’t think foreigners are coming over and taking away North American comedians’ jobs.
JOHN MULANEY (At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on November 10) Mulaney destroyed in his first visit to Vancouver in 2015. Then again, he destroys pretty much everywhere he goes. The Draw: He’s the Ivan Decker of America. Not quite as good, naturally, but way more famous. Thankfully, he’s got the chops to back it up. Target Audience: Mulaney’s NBC sitcom was so bad most people never saw it. Those who did have purged it from their memory, so he’s still golden in the standupcomedy world. And deservedly so, because he’s that good.
BOBBY LEE (At Yuk Yuk’s on November 30, December 1 and 2) The former Mad TV cast member is nuts. And he’s not afraid to show them… Almost. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Lee wander through the audience in his tighty-whities. The Draw: He’s unpredictable and hilarious, a unique presence on the standup scene. Target Audience: If you just want to laugh without thinking too hard, Bobby Lee can help you.
> GUY MACPHERSON