As the flurries fly, so does the funny.
Comedy always seems to run counter-intuitively to life. Life will always find a way to renew itself during the spring while comedy in this city always seems to find a way to renew itself during the winter.
That being said, if this is your winter of discontent, may these shows give you a chuckle or two along the way.
Let’s look at the best comedy London has to offer…
1 – Yuk Yuk’s
February starts off hot as Jean Paul visits the Forest City with his mix of smooth observations and hilarious storytelling. The following week sees recently Sweatsedo sponsored and Fanshawe alumni Jeff Paul return to his old college stomping grounds for a weekend. Once we get past Valentine’s Day, if you and your significant other are looking for a laugh, Patrick Haye is in town to tickle not only your funny bone, but also the keys on his musical keyboard. February concludes with Darren Frost who’s no stranger to this city and its notoriously ignorant hecklers.
As we get into March, its opening week sees Michael Harrison come in for a weekend from NYC. As we get into the middle of the month, we see a bit of a West Coast swing as Adam Delorey and Andrew Albert both come in to headline weekends.
2 – Shut The Front Door Improv
After a successful string of fall shows and a spectacular January show at the London Music Club, Shut The Front Door delves deep into the zodiac and the great unknown with “What’s Your Sign?” on February 9.
If you can’t make it out to that show and are looking for a laugh break, the next month features a show on March 9 at the London Music Club.
3 – Funny Comedy Show
If you’re looking for something a little underground comedically, head on down to the Poacher’s Arms for its first Monday of the month tradition “The Funny Comedy Show.”
Their February 5 show sees the return of 2016 JFL Homegrown winner and Poacher’s favourite Nigel Grinstead. Following that on March 5, Perennial Festival favourite Martha Chaves makes her first trip to the cozy confines of the Poacher’s Arms.
4 – Off The Hinges Improv
Off The Hinges returns to its short form roots with “Acronympov” January 25 at the London Music Club.
After that, you can catch them the next month on February 22 for “Toast and Jam” with featured guest motivational speaker Paula Morand. Off the Hinges will then finish off its winter session with a show featuring Stratford improv stalwart Kristen Keller on March 22.
5 – The Western Comedy Club
After a hot start to the fall, which involved a well-attended improv show, and an absolutely packed standup show at Barney’s, the WCC is back.
6 – London Music Hall
If you missed out on Jon Dore’s hysterical show this past November…
… the London Music Hall will be hosting the equally hilarious comedy duo of Kenny vs. Spenny on March 9.
7 – Pants Labyrinth
Of all the local improv groups that make a home in the Forest City, Pants Labyrinth continues to be the most creative.
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In the past year, their themed shows have varied from Tim Burton to Star Wars, to a show about the elderly. Their first shows of 2018 at Jacks are no different with “Shakesbeer” on February 1 and “7 Eleven” (A Stranger Things Themed Show) on March 1.
8 – Budweiser Gardens
St. Patrick’s Day is usually a day that involves a fair amount of laughter. The one guaranteed laugh to be had on March 17 will be a visit from the cast of Letterkenny.
9 – Hard to Handle Improv
The newest troupe to come out of the Shut The Front Door training program, Hard To Handle got off to a successful start with a December preview show and a well-attended show last week.
They look to continue this hot streak with a show on Valentine’s Day with another one going down on March 14.
10 – KnP Comedy
On February 22, London Comedy descends upon Old East 765 Bar & Grill to bury one of their own in an avalanche of roast jokes. This past fall, Peter Reed announced that he’ll be taking a leave of absence as he moves to Keswick, Ontario to be there for the birth of his child. Come watch London Comedy flush this dark turd of a comedian into the sewer of the unknown.
11 – The Outback Shack (Fanshawe College)
They say making up is hard to do but in comedy it’s pretty easy because you just have move around dates.
Now, check out some open mics and classes around town…
As the calendar turns to January, New Year’s resolutions are made. For som, this involves fulfilling a lifelong goal of taking to a stage and telling jokes. For those brave few souls, may we suggest these places to start out.
Yuk Yuk’s London Amateur Night
Doors Open at 8:30 PM, show starts at 9 PM, $5 or FREE for students with I.D.
Show Dates: January 31, February 28, March 28, April 25
Sign Up Dates: January 24, February 21, March 21, April 18
If your goal is to do your first show in a comedy club setting, head to the amateur night at Yuk Yuk’s London. The crowds for this show tend to be a bit more on the supportive side, so don’t miss out on this rare opportunity. If you want to sign up for a spot, e-mail Leah Regan at: email@example.com
The Funny Comedy Show Open Mic (Poacher’s Arms)
Sign Up: 8:30 PM, show starts at 9 PM, FREE
Every Monday excluding the first Monday of the month
Show Up & Go Up
If you want a first time that’s a little more intimate, we suggest this open mic at the Poacher’s Arms. Word to the wise – get there early because spots fill up fast.
Fainting Goat Open Mic (Ceeps)
Sign Up: 7:30, show starts at 8 PM, FREE
Every Wednesday excluding the last Wednesday of the month
Show Up & Go Up
London’s newest comedy open mic takes place inside the hallowed grounds of the Ceeps. If you’re looking for a place to perform and then explore downtown, this early evening open mic might be the way for you.
Bad Idea Comedy Show (The Roxbury)
Sign Up: 8 PM, show starts at 9 PM, FREE
Last Tuesday of the month
Show Up & Go Up
The premise of this stand up comedy contest is easy: put in $2, sign up for a spot, winner takes all.
The Bull & Barrel 3rd Annual Amateur Stand Up Comedy Contest
February 18, show starts at 8 PM, $5 or FREE with table reservation
Sign up through Jordan Minter on FB
With a prize pool of $200 dollars in cash & prizes, the real question is why not?
KnP Comedy (765 Old East Bar & Grill)
Show starts at 8 PM, FREE
Every other Thursday
Sign up through KnP Comedy FB page
In the wilds of East London, in the cold back room of the 765 Old East Bar & Grill dwells the rawest and realest open mic this city has to offer.
Shut The Front Door: Adult Improv
March 9 – Class starts at 7 PM
Sign up through STFD Eventbrite page
If improv comedy is more of your thing, we recommend that you guys take these series of classes.
Feature photo via Bell Media
Pat Tiffin is a local standup comedian and LondonFuse contributor. Feature photo courtesy of Budweiser Gardens.