Culture & Entertainment

Halifax Comedy Fest!

By: Doug O'Neill
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Halifax Comedy Fest!

By: Doug O'Neill
Putting the Ha in Halifax for 19 years! There are many reasons to visit Halifax, ocean-side scenery and amazing seafood nearing the top of the list. But bar none, the humour of East Coasters is reason enough to travel to the funniest city in Nova Scotia. Mark Critch What: Halifax Comedy Fest, which turns 19 this year, puts humour where Canadians appreciate it most—in front of live audiences. When: The festival runs April 23 to 26. Where: You’ll find howling audiences at a smattering of venues throughout Halifax, such as Yuk Yuk’s and the Spatz Theatre, and at smaller venues like Alderney Landing, across the harbour in Dartmouth. Who: This Hour Has 22 Minutes star Mark Critch returns as host with such headliners as Gemini Award–winning Cathy Jones and American comic Bob Marley, of Comedy Central fame. Programmers schedule about 30 performers for the four-day festival. Catch a hilarious moment with Mark Critch at the Halifax Comedy Fest: [HTML1] Why: “This is the year the festival reaches legal drinking age,” says festival producer Kim Hendrickson. “I remember a very young Shaun Majumder submitting his audition tape on a grainy VHS,” she recalls. “And audiences have howled whenever Ron James and Seán Cullen have appeared over the years. Plus, we get comics such as Jonny Harris (Murdoch Mysteries) back to perform most years, and the hilarious Caroline Rhea (a regular on the Comedy Network) has performed to sold-out audiences.” Hendrickson still can’t forget the year Nova Scotia native Nikki Payne (Last Comic Standing) bent over a chair for an onstage spanking after dropping the F-bomb. (Unlike many comedy festivals, this one permits no blue language, thank you very much.) Hendrickson’s team makes a point of passing the mic to newbies and up-and-comers. They get pitches from 80 to 100 performers each year. “Unlike in the earlier days,” says Hendrickson, “the comedians now come to us.” Check out the full lineup at halifaxcomedyfest.ca. — Doug O’Neill
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Halifax Comedy Fest!

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