When three Toronto-based comics were trying to book Nanaimo, they noted how difficult it was to find their chosen venue’s contact information instead of endless recipes for the world-famous dessert.
Sudanese comedian, actor and podcaster Abbas Wahab, Egyptian comedian Moe Ismail and Punjabi comedian Jesse Singh will each offer their distinct stand-up narratives at the Nanaimo Bar, 75 Front St., on Sunday, Nov. 27, as they see the country in their ‘They’re Going Places’ Canadian comedy tour.
“We’re excited to get a taste of Nanaimo … and Tofino … and Victoria and make people laugh and find out what the vibes are like,” said Wahab. “It’s awesome to leave southwestern Ontario … We’ve been out and about doing a show here and there, but just seeing the country, starting in the east and going all the way west, in one go, is pretty awesome.”
Although the performers have told jokes out west individually before, the ‘They’re Going Places’ comedy tour is the first instances they’ve toured this far as a collective.
Wahab said the very beginning of the tour, before they even considered taking it nationally, first started in February as they travelled to six cities in Ontario. Since they were so well-received, the three then wanted to take the 90-minute show on the road.
Singh said, as with most acts, their comedy tends to centralize around sharing life experiences and storytelling, but this tour is bringing those experiences to smaller communities that may not have as much cultural diversity as Toronto.
“I think it gives [people] a chance to see things from a different lens,” he said.
Ismail added that while the comedians will often stick to the truth, they try to keep it away from a therapy session as best they can.
“It’s very electric. It’s a lot of energy. A lot of enthusiasm. A lot of ethnicity. So much ethnic,” Ismail said.
“It’s a highly concentrated injection of diversity,” added Wahab.
“And sex appeal,” joked Ismail. “Everybody here comes with a different set of experiences – Jesse is a social worker, Abbas talks from an engineering background and I’m an elementary school teacher … So everybody is just bringing their own slice of the pie.”
“You’ll hear a lot about how much corporate life sucks, but also how much we hate kids,” joked Singh.
When not touring, Wahab hosts ‘The Immigrant Section’ podcast, and recently debuted his comedy album Safe Black. Ismail also released his own album, Homeroom Habibi, in September. And Singh will be screening his short film, called Tales from the Mandem, at film festivals back east.
Tickets for the trio’s Nanaimo show can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.ca.