Nanaimo comedian Malcolm Wright has participated in the Laugh Lounge series for two years. He credits the series for keeping live comedy alive in the Harbour City.

Nanaimo’s comedy scene growing

NANAIMO - Laugh Lounge keeps comedy alive in Nanaimo and allows comedians to hone their craft.

It wasn’t that long ago that Nanaimo’s comedy scene was gasping for air.

In 2013 one of the few venues that hosted comedy nights was closing its doors. That’s when Andrew Roberts, the founder of Got Pop? Concerts, came up with an idea.

“There was about eight to 10 comics locally that would do shows once a month at the old Globe location … and they were closing up,” Roberts said.

Roberts, who had previously attracted comedic acts like Pauly Shore and Charlie Murphy to the city, began searching and landed on the downstairs portion of the Acme Food Co.

“It was a perfect room, it was small, intimate but not in a bar setting,” Roberts said.

In May of that year the very first Laugh Lounge was held at the Acme Food Co.

The once-a-month comedy event typically includes two show times, a headlining act and as many as six other comedians. Each show time typically lasts anywhere from 60 to 95 minutes.

Roberts said the structure is designed to break down the misconceptions about local comedy shows.

“I found was that a lot of people, when they think of comedy shows, they think of open mics and amateurs,” Roberts said. “But we get try and get one good headliner to do 45 minutes so it is a professional show.”

As a result, dozens of comedians including Peter Hudson, Kim Strynadka and Lil Cory, Jenelle Dmytruk, Nick Schols, Scott Goglin, Deanna Wood can regularly practise their craft in front of a local audience.

Nanaimo comedian Malcolm Wright, who has been part of the Laugh Lounge lineup since it started, says the Laugh Lounge has allowed him to meet other comedians.

“Laugh Lounge has been great,” Wright said. “You meet other comedians, you meet local guys, you meet guys from out of town, you meet guys who have been on the road for 15 years.”

Fellow Harbour City comedian Darryl Shaw says the Laugh Lounge has helped grow comedy in the city and provided a stable place for comedians to build their craft.

“I think it has been a fantastic venue for Nanaimo …. I think it is really grown. I have been there when there have been some really small crowds and I have been now when the rooms are packed almost every time and as a Comedian there is nothing more that we want to see than a packed room,” Shaw said.  “To us it is a regular spot to go to. There is nothing worse having occasional shows and not knowing when they are.”

As a result of Acme’s closure, the Laugh Lounge relocated to the Old City Station Pub’s banquet room.

“It’s a great room. It is much bigger than the AcMe and the sight lines are perfect. It’s a great room for comedy because it is not in the pub, it is in the room beside it,” Roberts said.

Both Shaw and Wright say without the Laugh Lounge, the local comedy scene would be almost non-existent.

“It would be pretty dead,” Wright said.

The next Laugh Lounge features Garrett Clark with Jason Lamb and others on Friday (Dec. 11) at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and available at the pub or www.ticketzone.com.

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com

 

Just Posted

No one tries to take down Nanaimo’s Discontent City at rally

Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island a no show so far after making threats two days earlier

Kidney Foundation Nanaimo chapter president seeks ‘bail money’ in fundraiser

Randy Spensley will be on a scissor lift in a jailbird outfit Aug. 25 at Country Club Centre

MULTIMEDIA: Fair weather, food and fun at VIEX in Nanaimo

A gallery of the second day of the Vancouver Island Exhibition at Beban Park in Nanaimo

Urban planner wants to join city council to help build Nanaimo

Tyler Brown held his campaign launch this week

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

MULTIMEDIA: Fair weather, food and fun at VIEX in Nanaimo

A gallery of the second day of the Vancouver Island Exhibition at Beban Park in Nanaimo

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at Harmac mill

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday

Nanaimo Astronomy Society invites public to look at the night sky

Telescopes on display for society’s annual outdoor social event Aug. 23

Fire destroys home in Campbell River

Cause unknown in fire that gutted Willow Point home on Sunday

V.I. Raiders score comeback victory against Langley Rams

Nanaimo team erases 31-7 deficit to beat Langley Rams 35-34

Nanaimo’s VIEX country fair underway

Vancouver Island Exhibition happening Aug. 17-19 at Beban Park

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

Two hurt in car wreck at Northfield intersection

NANAIMO – Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday on old Island Highway

Vehicle catches fire on Rutherford Road

NANAIMO – No one hurt in incident, which happened at 2:30 p.m. Friday

Most Read