Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Smiles all around at comedy festival

  • Print

Persistent winter-like weather and an unwelcome mid-April snowstorm may have kept a few people away, but the Winnipeg Comedy Festival is still on track to match last year's attendance.

Artistic director Al Rae said Tuesday that this year's fest, which concluded Sunday, saw a decline in attendance at gala shows at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre, but more sellouts than ever at some of the festival's smaller venues.

"It wasn't a record-breaking year, but it wasn't a disappointing year, either," said Rae, who noted that final ticket-sales numbers are still being tabulated. "We're certainly on target for last year's number (total paid attendance of 10,232)."

He added that weather -- or, more specifically, a fed-up population's inclination to stay home as cold temperatures linger -- has affected attendance at many local events this year.

"I've talked to other producers in town, and a lot of events have been struggling a bit. This enduring winter has hurt everybody," he said.

Among the sold-out shows this year were two tapings of CBC Radio's The Debaters, the always-popular Winnipeg Show, a taping of CBC Radio's Definitely Not the Opera, the all-female The No Bro Show and the week-ending Best of the Fest.

"I think that may be a record for the number of sellouts," said Rae.

From an artistic standpoint, Rae said he was particularly pleased by the success of diminutive Winnipeg-born comic Tanyalee Davis, who made several appearances -- including the headline slot in the Size Matters show -- and the huge audience response to The No Bro Show.

"It's nice to help to dispel that slowly dying prejudice against women comics," he said. "The laughter in the Gas Station was through the roof -- I think it was probably the single biggest response we had at a Gas Station show throughout the week."

Rae also pointed to the inclusion of Manitoba comics -- whose sets were recorded by TV crews for online viewing as part of CBC's expanded comedy-fest programming package -- as openers for the taped-for-TV galas as one of his personal highlights this year.

"They did exceptionally well," he said of the gala-warmup efforts of Paul Rabliauskas, Matt Falk, Big Daddy Tazz, Dan Verville and Chantel Marostica. "They all knocked it out of the park; CBC people were very impressed."

 

-- -- --

 

With this year's comedy fest wrapped up, it's time to clear out the notebook and let loose the annual collection of favourite one-liners from a full week of funny business:

 

"If you ever see a 65-year-old guy beating the crap out of a 72-year-old guy in front of a legion, that's a younger bro finally having the best day of his life."

-- Darrin Rose, on long-simmering sibling rivalries.

 

"I'm not so fat that no one will have sex with me; I'm just fat enough that no one's bragging to their friends about it."

-- Peter White, on carrying just a few too many waistline pounds.

 

"I'm newly single. I'm not mad; I get it -- the guy she left me for has Jets tickets. So I'm like, 'Wow, those are P2s -- good call.'"

-- Jordan Welwood, on romantic realities in Winnipeg.

 

"Attitudes have changed so much that if I saw you doing a line of coke off a slice of white bread, I'd be, 'Dude, white bread? Are you trying to kill yourself?'"

-- Dave Hemstad, on the obsession with healthy eating.

 

"As you probably know, 'Winnipeg' is a Cree word that means 'muddy water.' Pretty amazing that the First Nations people, thousands of years ago, were able to predict what would be flowing out of our faucets."

-- Bruce Clark, on local water woes.

 

"They have a weird nickname for me backstage -- they call me 'Funding.'"

-- Aboriginal comic Paul Rabliauskas, happy to be part of a CBC-sponsored comedy-fest gala.

 

"I'm huge in Japan."

-- three-foot-six comic Tanyalee Davis.

 

"When you're 22, you will chug a beer anywhere, anytime. When you're 32, you will only chug a beer when your wife just called and you're already supposed to be home."

-- Darrin Rose, on graduating from 'bro'-hood to manhood.

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 16, 2014 D2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Humans of the Holidays

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose flies towards the sun near the Perimeter Highway North and Main St Monday afternoon – See Day 10 for Bryksa’s 30 goose project - May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google