Whoever dubbed us No Fun City has clearly never seen these people play.
Vancouver is the city that launched a thousand comedians. Okay, probably not a thousand but definitely a lot.
Despite the recent pandemic-era shutdown of all quirky comedy venues, Vancouver remains a hub for stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy with a diverse cast of characters topping out. At Junos 2022, local Andrea Jin won comedy album of the year for her set “Grandma’s Girl,” and previous winners include fellow Vancouverites Jacob Samuel and Ivan Decker.
Local comedians are also at the forefront of a thriving podcast scene that has grown in large part because artists found themselves without physical stages and thus brought their talents to the biggest metaphysical stage there is. : Internet.
Now, as things have started to open up again, we have both online and in-person comedies, so we’ve rounded up some of the best comedians and shows for you to check out and where to find them.
Juno award-winning comedian Andrea Jin is wickedly funny. His comedy album can be streamed on Spotify and she also has a TikTok channel with over 122.4K subscribers where she publishes short excerpts of his material, many of which are from the Little Mountain Gallery, which sadly no longer exists. Jin talks largely about her personal experiences growing up with her grandparents, coming to terms with her sexuality, and being an Asian woman, but delivered in a deadpan way that’s characteristic of an entire subgenre of comedy that millennials and GenZ have created at the expense of our collective traumas. It’s good stuff, follow her on Instagram for show announcements.
This rising star hails from Fort McMurray, Alberta (which you would know if you watched his audition for Canada has talent) but he now lives in Vancouver so we can claim him as our own. Ola Dada was a semi-finalist on Canada has talenthas its own episode in the first season of the CBC TV series Gem Tthe new wave of stand-up, and performed at Just for Laughs last May. He hasn’t announced any upcoming live appearances at this time, but be sure to follow his Instagram for updates and in the meantime, you can listen to his comedy album “Dada Plan” and watch videos of his previous stand-up work through its link tree.
Maddy Kelly is one-third of the trio behind the “Let’s Make a Sci-Fi” podcast (also featuring our baseball writer Ryan Biel) who New York magazine named one of the top 10 podcasts of 2022 (so far). She appeared on The Stand Up Show with Jon Dore, season two of The new wave of stand-up, The debaters, and on the Just for Laughs stage several times. She is play a show tonight june 3rd, to Comedy After Dark which has shows every Friday. Check it out before you lose it in Los Angeles.
If you’re into comedy or Vancouver, which I can only assume because you’re reading this, chances are Pewter Lorica appeared on your TikTok feed. The non-binary legend is the host of Millennial Line, also has a New wave of stand-up and a Just for Laughs original titled Grossly Underfunded Circus. Their stand-up style is dry observational comedy as they’re dressed as Filipinx Micheal Cera.
Alistair Ogden hosts a live comedy show on the first Friday of each month called comedy pants at China Cloud on Main Street. Many other comedians on this list have made appearances there. The series debuted in 2018 and offers stand-up and comedy sketch shows at an intimate, independent venue that still sells out.
You can’t recognize Charlie Demers but chances are you’ve heard his voice as a cartoon on Netflix or on CBC as a stand-up or as a panelist on The debaters. You have also seen his books Vancouver Special, Primary observations, and dark noon coming out tomorrow. The author, actor and comedian is a triple threat and has a live show in Rio June 10. While much of Demers’ comedy is lighthearted, he is also an activist and a pillar in the community.
A tattoo parlor by day and a comedy club by night, MOTN (pronounced Mah-Tin, like Martin if you were a member of the British royal family) regularly hosts stand-up fights, roasts, a comedy wheel presented by Ola Dada Productions which is breeds on June 8. The next mixed standing show is called short kings featuring comedians Danika Thibault, Marito Lopez, Aaron Read and Chris Locke on June 10.
Comedy here often
Comedy here often is an independent comedy company in Vancouver. Upcoming shows include the Biltmore on June 9 and at 604 Studios on June 24, 2022.
Comedy after dark
Comedy after dark is a great resource for finding shows in Vancouver with weekly performances and lineups all over the city. Expect uncensored, unbalanced, and thoroughly dark material. But in the funniest way possible.