First Impressions Of The Laugh Shop

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When we (girlfriend and I) pulled into the parking lot at the Park Town hotel off of 25th Street, there is a parkade that is behind the seniors complex but right beside the hotel.  As we parked there were some people at the parkade entrance waiting for friends to arrive, while others got their parking tickets from the dispenser, while some had a smoke before heading inside.  These people were dressed for a night out.  This was a comedy crowd.

Once in the hotel you take a right and go downstairs to the Cedar Room.  Then you see the long bar that runs 3/4 of the way along the back wall of the room.  Then you walk in and see it.  The Laugh Shop.  Candlelit tables nicely arranged as people begin to take their seats.

I start to survey the room, trying to process as much information as I can, taking a look at how the room is set up, the sight lines and the lighting.  For the first 15 minutes or so, I began to have feelings of anger and resentment for being kept out of the Saskatoon scene for so long.  Then I realized that I was harbouring feelings of unforgiveness towards the situation that lead me to step away from the Saskatoon comedy scene.

Then, the show started and something happened. Something I never expected.

The MC was good, did a good job engaging the crowd and getting laughs.  The openers had their moments too.  Like me, they were just starting out, only having been in comedy for a bit longer than I.  The more I watched, the more I realized that I have a real chance at succeeding when I host next month.

While it was a comedy crowd, there were times when certain tables didn’t laugh, and it didn’t take too long before I figured out what type of jokes made people laugh louder and longer than the table beside them.

I was a bit intimidated because it was “the” comedy club in the city.  When people heard I did stand up, The Laugh Shop is the only place they knew of comedians perform.

But at the end of the day, the openers are newer comics trying to make a name for themselves.  Sometimes they don’t set the world on fire, and I suppose they aren’t supposed to.  They are supposed to set the table for the headliner.  When the headliner came on, within the first five minutes he got the type of laughs that a headliner is supposed to get.  That put it all into perspective for me.

The opening act doesn’t have to be as funny as the headliner.  That isn’t his/her job.  Opening is part of the process of growth for a comic, and not being in a comedy club atmosphere for almost two years left me forgetting that important point.

The openers don’t have to be amazingly funny, they just have to warm the audience up.  Based on that description, I’d say the MC and the openers last Friday night did their job very well.  That gives me confidence that I can succeed when I make my return to the comedy stage as well.


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