The Casbah 306 King Street West
I’ve tackled many different facets of the city throughout my local adventures – music, art, food, theatre, shops, non-profits… but one scene I have wanted to explore is comedy. It’s about time I did!
Stand-up comic and radio host Jordan Scherer let me know about a show he put together at The Casbah called “The Ghost of Cheeseburgers Past.” Described as a story-telling stand-up comedy show, a bunch of local comics took part to tell embarrassing, strange, and hilarious anecdotes.
With nine local comics in the lineup, it was a fun way to be introduced to the city’s strong comedy community. Along with Jordan, the comics included Isi Commisso, Devin Bateson, Brandon Sobel, Paul Boychuk, Megan Pettit, Mayce Galoni, Dan Peters, and Patrick Coppolino.
From topics ranging from awkward adolescence, pooping, parenting, sex, fights, (ok, poop was a recurring theme… let’s just say we all got to know the performers a little better), the comics took their turn telling stories. Each one had his or her own style and the show moved quickly from one to the next.
Rather than recounting everyone’s shtick, I’ll list a quick recap of what I gleaned about Hamilton’s comedy scene. This being my inaugural Comedy post (officially instating Comedy as a new category on I Heart Hamilton!) it was a good gateway into all that I have to explore.
I knew of Jordan and Mayce from their show “Hamilton Comedy Hour” on CFMU. As the youngest one in the bunch, Mayce Galoni has a very endearing and self-deprecating style. Jordan did an awesome job opening the night and transitioning between the comic’s sets. Tune into their weekly show on CFMU.
Among the boys’ club, Megan Pettit’s set stood out. She weaved a funny and clever narrative that included tattoos, carnies, and corn (not the band). Megan recently performed in Toronto at NXNE and has been steadily doing shows around town. She also has one of the funniest Twitter feeds around – check her out @meganshpettit.
Davin Bateson is also part of comedy troupe Aunt Francis, along with Matthew Surina, William Thomson, and Mike Demissie. I had heard of them before but this sent me tumbling down the world of their sketches. Their “But What If…” sketches remind me of The Kids in the Hall’s “Premise Beach” (if you didn’t already know, I’m an insane KITH fan!)
Brandon Sobel just launched the web series “Brandon’s Apartment” which he co-hosts with Jay Oh. Directed by Craig F. Watkins, the show is slick and polished but obviously gritty, in keeping with this city of ours. True to the format of a late night show, each one even has a musical guest (I was excited to see my friend Graham Peacefull in one!) The episodes clock in at 4:20 each. Nicely done.
Staircase Theatre has been on my list since I started, and I still haven’t been. Paul Boychuk hosts the showcase “Hammer Night Live” over there on the last Thursday of every month.
Another tibit I found – every Monday night Isi Commisso hosts Comedy at Ceili at The Ceilidh House in Hess Village – another night you can experience some great stand-up.
As the headliner of the night, Patrick Coppolino is one of the more well-known comics in the city, having opened for Tom Green (watch his recent set in NYC). You can catch him often at The Corktown which is also a major venue in Hamilton for comedy.
Needless to say, I have a lot more to see, and I look forward to exploring more of the city’s comedy scene!