With Admiration To Regina

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Of all the Saskatoon comedians I am the one who has worked with the Regina comedians the most.  I have a good understanding of the comedians and what each one brings to the table.  Having said that, I realized that I never covered an obvious topic that hasn’t been touched on since the blog started.

What is the difference between the Saskatoon and Regina comedians?

Over my time in comedy I have been extremely fortunate to have taken part in a lot of Regina’s shows, whether they be fundraisers, at The Laugh Shop, Pass The Hat or the Monday night open mics at The Artful Dodger.  During this time I have gotten to know some of the guys.  Since Saskatoon and Regina always get compared through the lenses of WHL teams, government and amateur sport to name a few, there is a difference between the two cities regarding the comedians go.

This isn’t an indictment on anybody.  These are just the differences that I see having the most experience of the Saskatoon comics with the Regina scene over the last several years.

One thing that Regina does that I was impressed with is how well the comics get along with each other.  The teamwork to put together a show is really well done.  The Pass The Hat shows in particular are well run, tight for time and fun.  I remember in particular there was a night after Pass The Hat where all the comics went to a local diner to grab food.  The majority of them were all in on the same conversations that centered around fantasy sports and Arrested Development.  Everyone had their say and it was really cool to see.  There seems to be a real sense of collaboration with the guys whether it’s the Pass The Hat show or a fundraiser they are doing.

All the Regina guys seem to attend most of the shows that are on.  I don’t mean that as an unfair critique of Saskatoon at all, as people have different responsibilities and lives outside of comedy.  It just sort of always stuck with me how the majority of the Regina comics are at their shows.  It’s cool to see because that means more comedians on stage.

With more comics on stage it means more variety.  Regina definitely has variety.  The biggest thing that sets Regina comics apart, in my opinion would be the fact that they rely on configurational comedy a lot more.  They are story tellers with jokes that are like a puzzle.  Configurational comedy occurs when “unconnected ideas fall into place and in that moment, makes sense.”  It requires work to carefully lay out the pieces so that they come together.”  

There are a few of the comedians in Regina that do this more than others.  Now, it might take a little bit for all the dots to be connected in the setup of the joke before the punchline, but it usually results in a pretty decent punchline that gets a good laugh.  The Regina audiences seem to follow along with the stories rather well.  Sometimes with configurational comedy you can try to convolute the setup and not have the sequence of events in a logical fashion that makes it easy for the audience to follow.  How do I know this?  I know because that’s what I did a lot of in the beginning.  I told stories that I thought made me sound clever, when I just looked more creepy and confusing on stage.

Watching them work the crowd is pretty good too.  There are a couple guys that do it very well, never mean spirited and always in good fun.

I don’t know how else to explain it but to say if you see the guys work, it’s like their material, even though they cover the same topics that we in Saskatoon cover, works for a Regina crowd.  The Regina comics have an ability to tell stories that set them apart just because of the way they construct the jokes in the setup.  I thought the difference was they were more sophisticated in the story telling, or maybe sounding more educated/artsy?  Those aren’t quite hitting the nail on the head, but they are definitely a unique, tightly knit, cohesive and supportive unit.

For whatever reason, the comedians between the two cities don’t do a lot of shows together.  Hopefully that will change in the future, because the Regina guys are a fun group to watch.



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