Entertainment Features

6th Annual Search for Niagara's Top Comic Is Underway

6th Annual Search for Niagara's Top Comic Is Underway

By David DeRocco                            dave@gobeweekly.com  https://twitter.com/?lang=en 

It makes sense that a region containing Welland, Thorold, Wainfleet and Dunnville would be a breeding ground for comedy. That fact is certainly reflected in the quality of homegrown stand-up comedians competing in the 6th annual Niagara’s Top Comic competition now underway at Showtime in St. Catharines.

“Because the local scene has blown up, we’ve expanded from 32 to 40 comics this year,” said comedian David Green, organizer of the annual search for Niagara’s funniest amateur comedian. “The quality and calibre of the comedians emerging from the local comedy scene has improved significantly from previous years. There’s a lot of funny people, all with a different style. There was women the first year, this year there’s 10. There’s just so many rooms around now and so much stage time available. It should be fun!”

For seven straight weeks, 40 local comedians will compete through four preliminary rounds, a semi-final and a grand finale before earning the crown of “Niagara’s Top Comic,” a designation earned last year by local comedian Matt Scarfone. Winning the competition earns the winner a direct ticket to perform at the 2020 Garden City Comedy Festival, which has rapidly become one of Niagara’s best multi-date events.

“The festival has expanded this year to five shows over four days,” said Green, who will be headlining one of the Festival’s events for the first time since launching the festival in 2017. “We’ve added a show at The Warehouse, and we’re doing an improv show at Mahtay Café for the first time. And we’re teaming up with Women’s Place once again for a show at the Suitcase in Point event space on James Street.”

Green’s tireless efforts in promoting comedy across Niagara have certainly paid off; while Yuk Yuk’s used to be the only place you could find live stand-up comedy being performed locally, multiple venues across the region are now offering comics regular opportunities to hone their craft. Still, there’s a surprising number of people who have never been to a comedy show, and Green says there’s a simple reason for that.

“Fear is a big reason,” he said. “A lot of people think there might be something rude or they might get picked on. But you can see how successful Showtime has been, for example. It’s packed every weekend with consistently good shows and people enjoying themselves. That’s what we want to promote with the Festival. It happens once a year, but there are lots of cool venues that are hear year-round. Once you come out, you’ll always come back.”

Learn more about this year’s Garden City Comedy Festival line-up here:  

April 15th kickoff: http://www.gardencitycomedyfestival.com/kickoff.html

April 16 Woman’s Place Fundraiser http://www.gardencitycomedyfestival.com/womensplace.html

April 17th Improv Night http://www.gardencitycomedyfestival.com/improvniagara.html

April 17th Showtime Special http://www.gardencitycomedyfestival.com/showtimespecial.html

April 18th Gala finale http://www.gardencitycomedyfestival.com/galanight.html


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