Com­edy heav­ies set to kill

COM­EDY

The Georgia Straight - - FALL ARTS PREVIEW - Photo by David Cooper

CRIT­ICS’ PICKS

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

Taylor Wil­liamson gets laughs with his trade­mark awk­ward silli­ness.

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