Nanaimoites, by necessity, have a good sense of humour. We are known for a sugar-coma inducing dessert, racing appliances and a pirate mayor. In recent months Brent Butt, Debra DiGiovanni, and The Snowed in Comedy Tour have put on big comedy shows that filled The Port Theatre with laughter.
There are also smaller shows and many vagabond comedians doing under-the-radar tours around the country. Wanderers like Toronto native, David Heti, who is stopping by as part of a month-long excursion up the West Coast. David’s in that grey area of comedy; he’s accomplished, but he has not broken into the mainstream yet.
His accolades include critics describing him as ‘scarily drily funny’ and ‘devastatingly original’. He also recently recorded his first full-length album, “It was ok, an album of comedy by David Heti.” He has appeared at numerous festivals including JFL’s Zoofest, Montreal Sketch and Fringe Fests, Toronto’s Dark Comedy Festival, NXNE, Halifax Pop Explosion. Despite all of that, his name probably does not ring a bell.
The reality with comedy is that there are amazing performers that we just have not heard about yet. That’s a problem that can be remedied rather easily. Heti is headlining ‘A Night of Comedy’ Thursday March 20th at The Cambie in Nanaimo at 8pm. Ten dollars gets you a night of live entertainment, cheaper than a movie. You will catch some locals in the act of telling jokes too. Scott Goglin is a mainstay in the local comedy and podcasting scene and I am back after taking eight years in Halifax to learn that the people are great and the weather sucks out east.
The thing with comedy is that the best performances often come in cozy venues from talented veterans of the craft who are still unknown enough to take risks and talk to you straight. There is something honest in not having anything to lose. Nanaimo is well positioned to host amazing comedians given our proximity to Vancouver and Victoria. Indeed, we enjoyed Simon King, Brett Martin, Matt Billon and the legendary Mike MacDonald in the past month alone.
Buying a ten-dollar ticket to a show means that you can call yourself a patron of the arts while swilling a beer. And you are, because good audiences make for better shows and good shows means that more performers will stop by and share their ideas, quirks and perspective on the world with us.
So see you at The Cambie on Thursday, you Nanaimo-bar-eating, Lucky-beer-drinking, cultural mover-and-shaker, you.