Cut your teeth and bust a gut at Comedy Monday
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A few minutes before he’s scheduled to take the stage, Chris Griffin grabs a pint of beer and paces around Broken City.
He doesn’t look nervous so much as deep in thought, but his body language suggests he is getting a little of the pre-performance jitters many stand-up comics feel before starting their sets.
He runs through his one-liners and anecdotes one last time, making sure the tone and timing are perfect before standing in the spotlight.
Across the room, Doug Mutai sits at the bar waiting his turn to join the parade of professional and amateur comedians delivering jokes they hope will result in that addictive rush of laughter from the packed house.
Mutai, 25, and Griffin, 30, are two fast-rising stars of Comedy Monday Night, Calgary’s most successful weekly open mic stand-up show.
Both funnymen are fairly new to the comedy game, having started only two years ago.
But thanks in part to their ‘training’ at Comedy Monday Night (CMN), they are quickly making their names known across the Canadian comedy scene.
Griffin is already headlining shows and Mutai was invited to this month’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
“Something just struck me one day and I wanted to do comedy,” says Mutai, who moved to Canada from Kenya in 2007.
“(CMN) has been great to me. I’ve made a lot of great friends and learned a lot.”
Veteran comic James Moore started Comedy Monday Night seven years ago to give local stand-up comedians more stage time.
“There were limited venues where anyone could go to hone their act,” he recalls.
“And clearly, stand-up comedy is one of those endeavours that requires lots of trips up on the stage.”
After a few years at Dickens Pub, Comedy Monday Night moved to Broken City in 2009 and is now considered one of the hottest open mic nights in Canada.
“We’re usually the first stop off for any new comedians, but as far as established comedians go we get some of the best acts in North America,” says Moore.
The audience is also a big reason for the night’s continuing success, according to Griffin.
“For first timers, this room is great,” he says.
“Everyone is so receptive and supportive … It’s such a cool experience to do comedy here.”
The show details:
- When and where. Comedy Monday Night runs every Monday at Broken City (613 – 11 Ave. S.W.) starting at 8 p.m. Cover charge is $5. Check out comedymondaynight.com