Laughing at ourselves, the ridiculousness of life, and the hilarious people around us is an excellent way to cope with the harshness of the world. Thankfully, Toronto has an incredible amount of opportunities to do so at various comedy nights throughout the city. Of course there are the usual suspects like Yuk Yuk’s and Second City, but here are some smaller but equally hilarious comedy nights you should consider checking out next time you need a good chuckle.
Location: Monthly showcases at The Rivoli, 334 Queen Street West
Shade is a monthly comedy showcase at the Rivoli produced by hilarious local comedian Anasimone George. Anasimone hosts the show, tells a few of her own jokes, and invites a lineup of comedians of colour, comedians from the LGBTQ+ community and comedians who identify as women to share their funny takes on life.
Location: Monthly showcases at Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor Street West
Derryck Birch is a comedy enthusiast who grew up watching legendary stand-up comedians like Eddie Murphy. While not a comedian himself, Derryck is passionate about sharing comedy with others by producing a monthly showcase called Deez Laughs at Comedy Bar. Deez Laughs features top local and up-and-coming comedians in a mix of stand-up, roasts and storytelling.
Photo courtesy Deez.
Location: Thursdays at Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor Street West
Laugh Sabbath is a favourite among local live comedy lovers, with shows served up by an ensemble cast every Thursday at Comedy Bar. Each show offers a different theme with a mix of stand-up and sketch comedy. The National Post’s Adam McDowell calls it “…the best of the city’s young stand-up and sketch comedians.”
Location: First Thursday of the month at Bad Dog Theatre, 875 Bloor Street West
Produced by Second City Conservatory graduate Nelu Handa, YAS KWEEN creates space for those who identify as women of colour/ethnicity (WOC) to share their voices, develop their craft and connect with each other. Each show offers a different mix of stand-up, sketch, improv, musical and storytelling performances.
Location: Mondays at Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor Street West
After recognizing a serious drought of women in the comedy scene, comedian and Baroness Von Sketch writer Dawn Whitwell decided to do something about it. She started Comedy Girl stand-up classes and a weekly comedy showcase for female comedians. Now several years into it, she’s been catapulting women into the comedy spotlight, often featuring her stand-up students and grads in her weekly show: Dawn Patrol, Mondays at Comedy Bar.
Location: Several events each month at various locations
If you’ve ever used the popular dating app Tinder, you’re probably painfully aware of the comedy it can inspire. In fact, there’s enough to make an entire show about it: Tinder Tales — a comedic storytelling event where dating app users and online daters are invited to share, listen and laugh about their unfortunate dating experiences. This event is unique in that it brings together comedians, storytellers and people who have never been on stage. Want to share your funny dating experiences on stage? Visit the Tinder Tales website for more info.