Comedy

Yukon Famous

The Yukon Famous, otherwise known as Jason Westover, Patrick Keenan, Elissa Ciullo and Chris MacFarlane, plan to perform comedy in various styles and genres, including a mix of stand-up, sketch, improv, monologue, music, dance and media.

Ready, Set, Howl will visit Whitehorse for a show on Oct 10

Norman Mervyn Barrington-Foote is bringing his own unique combination of music, comedy and puppetry to Whitehorse for a Halloween-themed show on Oct. 10, 2019 at the Yukon Arts Centre. Music, costumes and Halloween are all part of Ready, Set, Howl.

Focus on the funny folk

Tokyo-born comedian Aiko Tanaka is one of the visiting performers featured in this year’s Yukon Comedy Festival, in both Whitehorse and Haines Junction Ricard Eden makes no apology for putting the focus of the Yukon Comedy Festival on the performers as much as on the audience. “We obviously want to bring up talent that residents …

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Shine those Shoes

Edmonton comedian Lars Callieou at a Comedy Monday Night gig in Calgary. Callieou will make a return appearance at the Ride For Dad Comedy Night at the Coast High Country Inn, January 17–19. PHOTO: James Moore   Canadian comics Lars Callieou and Derek Seguin will share headlining duties at the annual Ride For Dad Comedy …

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Overloaded by motherhood

It’s a comedy about the darkness of parenthood. That’s how Emelia Symington Fedy describes Motherload, the collectively-created play she and three castmates are bringing to the Yukon Arts Centre’s mainstage on October 13. Fedy traces the play’s conception to a specific outing with her infant son, at a time when she was grieving her own …

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Downfall of a Salesman

The Guild Theatre will launch its 2018–19 season this week with Lawrence and Holloman, a darkly hilarious two-hander by award-winning Canadian playwright Morris Panych. First produced at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre in 1998, it later inspired a film by the same name, starring Ben Cotton and Daniel Arnold, which drew mixed critical and box office response. …

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Serving laughs straight from the oven

The Whitehorse comedy scene is on a roll as of late. One of the events that has helped cultivate this resurgence has been Baked Laughs, the stand-up nights presented monthly at Baked Café.

The Winterlong Podcasting Co

On March 24th the Winterlong Brewing Co. will be slinging more than beer when they play host to two popular Los Angeles based podcasts.

A weekend of laughs

The Yukon stand-up comedy scene can be fickle. Some years comics will perform to packed houses that turn people away at the door. Other years, not so much. Whether it’s a lack of comics, audience, or both, northern life can bring a number of challenges that make live comedy difficult to maintain. Richard Eden, George …

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Stand up for Stephen McGovern

On March 9, Yukon comic Stephen McGovern will be gearing up to take the stage at the Just for Laughs Northwest comedy festival in Vancouver. The 10-day event beginning March 1 offers a wide variety of shows that highlight Canadian and international comedy. McGovern makes his Just for Laughs debut performing in The Outsiders Comedy show, which …

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The Birth of the Yukon Comedy Collective

The Yukon is about to get a whole lot funnier if Richard Eden has his way. Relatively new to the territory, Eden is the president and creator of The Yukon Comedy Collective – a new non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to providing top quality comedic events, activities and hospitality by exposing outside and homegrown talent as …

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Debaters Bound

Whitehorse comedian Jenny Hamilton will be performing live on the CBC Radio One show The Debaters in North Vancouver on Nov. 22

All the world’s a stage

Morris, an improv teacher and artistic director of The Paper Street Theatre company in Victoria, B.C. was giving a talk at a TedX event in 2012 about “The way of Improv,” much to the audience’s delight. In the crowd that evening was Shahin Mohammadi.

What was that?

NOTE: After this story went to print, we were informed that this event was postponed until Friday, February 16th, 2018, 8pm. They met as teenagers at an improv comedy club called Lucifer’s in Calgary, Alberta. Now, more than two decades later, they’ve just launched their seventh season performing together weekly for a coast-to-coast-to-coast audience. Peter Oldring and …

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Good Night, Good Morning

Ann-Marie MacDonald’s award-winning comedy Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) has been around for almost 30 years, but Brian Fidler and Clare Preuss are convinced it will still play well to contemporary Whitehorse audiences. “I think it appeals to the core audience of the Guild that likes a good Canadian classic show, and that loves Shakespeare,” …

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Geek Get-Together

If you think Captain America’s corny and overrated, you’re in good company – with the likes of Thor, Spider-Man, and Nick Fury. They’re just three of the heroes who will spend a night laying burns on the Captain at a “roast” during YukomiCon this year. The Roast, which takes place on Saturday, August 26 at …

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My name is Chris. I am an Ontarian

I suffer jokes and insults & many others suffer the same fate, but we persevere. We understand that we are different. We are from Ontario.

A Fable of Feminist Lore

“… but also they were a family, because this story is all about that. About humans and human-ness. Fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters. Love and betrayal and loyalty and madness. Lovers and heroes and the passing of time and all those marvellous baffling things… those things that make us human.” –excerpt from The One …

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Giggle for a Good Cause

Laugh it up, because Jan 26th and 27th Ride for Dad presents its fourth annual comedy show at Coast High Country Inn. Featuring local acts Steve McGovern and Jenny Hamilton and imports Scott Belford and Kelly Taylor, the evening will feature drinks, laughs and a break from the winter doldrums. All proceeds from the event …

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Farewell to a Gentle, Genuine Funnyman

The first time I saw the iconic Canadian funnyman, Dave Broadfoot, was during a tour of the musical-comedy revue, Spring Thaw, sometime in the 1960s. Later, I would get to know him much better through his delicious character profiles on CBC’s Royal Canadian Air Farce. Who could forget the hilariously-stunned Big Bobby Clobber, who clearly took …

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F*ck Feelings

“There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.“ -Fred Rogers. From, The World According to Mister Rogers. …

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CFYT Talent Night

Have you always wanted to get on stage and strut your stuff?  If so, then CFYT Talent Night is for you.  Taking place on September 30 at Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall in Dawson City, Talent Night welcomes all types of performers on stage. In partnership with the Klondike Visitors Association (KVA), this event is …

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Hacking Through the Internet Maze in Search of Meaning

Enquiring (and even inquiring) minds want to know: what the heck is a hack, anyway? In response to numerous queries on that very subject (none, actually), I’ve been hacking my way through the undergrowth of lexicography trying to decode a term the internet seems to assume all of us understand intuitively. Surprisingly, the dots between …

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An International Celebration of Talent

The Folk Society of Whitehorse has been hosting the famous Yukon-Alaska Coffee House for  more than 25 years. This event features two coffee house evenings, back-to-back, in Skagway and Whitehorse. The Yukon evening of talent, which takes place on Saturday, will also serve as the finale to a series of Whitehorse coffee houses that happen …

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Golfers and Duck Hunters Have Something in Common

The golfing season and duck hunting season have something in common.  I am convinced  that if a person took up both sports their problems would be greatly magnified. I came to this monumental conclusion when I was chasing golf balls on the number six  fairway. It started to sprinkle rain, but undaunted, like a duck …

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Moving Target

Unlike some comedians, Lars Callieou didn’t start as class clown: he wasn’t in class. Callieou & Fortin are on stage at Ride for Dad Comedy,

A New Theatre Company in Town

As winter carries on, theatre lovers will have the opportunity to warm their cold bodies with laughter in a brand new black box theatre when long time Yukon Arts mainstay Katherine McCallum unveils her new production company Larrikin Entertainment with the black comedy Often I find Myself Naked by Australian playwright Fiona Sprott. McCallum, a …

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Minimallusion

After months of slowly working on my camper, I pull an all-nighter on the last day of April, frantically paring my possessions down to what can fit inside my new miniscule home. Innumerable donated garbage bags later, my bedroom is stripped to its bones and inside my camper sits a very pleasing little pile of …

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A Northern Cabaret

Craving a dose of good old fashioned Vaudeville fun? Yukoners looking for something new and adult to do this holiday season have the opportunity to find it at Furlesque: A Northern Cabaret. The variety show will feature, among other things, belly dancing, old-style song and dance numbers, burlesque, gymnastics, actors, musicians and comedians. Each evening …

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Love, Ambivalently

Many beloved Christmas films had inauspicious debuts. It’s a Wonderful Life lost money for the studio when it was released in 1946, but television viewings turned it into a bona fide classic 30 years after its release. Similarly, Love Actually has unexpectedly become a Christmas staple in some quarters. Admittedly, I belong in that group, …

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Murderously Funny

This Halloween season The Yukon Arts Centre (YAC) will present Butt Kapinksi at The Old Fire Hall, an interactive comedic murder mystery set in the style of a classic film noir movie. The show’s creator and star, Deanna Fleysher, slips into the gritty shoes of private eye Butt Kapinski as he endeavors to solve a …

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Spitefulness is best served as satire

Argentinean director Damián Szifron’s 2015 Best Foreign Language Academy Award Nominee Wild Tales is a completely jarring and poetic collection of old wives’ tales and urban legends about vengeance and vulnerability. Its characters plan revenge on instinct, using whatever is at their disposal to aid in their gratification. The film’s common theme of spitefulness and …

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How did Charlie Brown and his friends make out?

On October 1st The Guild Hall Society will kick off its  2015/16 season with Bert V. Royal’s dark comedy Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. The play is considered an unauthorized parody of the iconic Peanuts characters created by Charles M. Schulz. The story imagines the gang as teenagers with all the ups, …

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It’s the Little Things

I’m blessed. Or “blessed”, depending on how you look at it. I am a part of one of the biggest families in the Yukon. I bet my family could launch an honest invasion on a sovereign nation — looking at you Luxembourg. That’s just one side of one side of my family. There is so …

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The Break-Up Comedy Festival

Breaking up is no laughing matter. But the Break-Up Comedy Festival, taking place in Dawson City on May 16, definitely is. The idea for the festival came about when, a few years ago, the Dawson City Museum wanted to combine fundraising with a celebration of the Yukon River. “The river today, as in the past, …

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Do I look Enlightened to You?

I recently heard the term “supermarket spiritualism” to describe folks walking down the proverbial aisle picking and choosing bits and pieces from every spiritual practice imaginable. And then paying for it all at the checkout. Emelia Symington Fedy, a Vancouver-based theatre artist, performer, writer and yoga teacher uses the term, “spiritual capitalism” in her lovingly …

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Bolton’s Babblings: The Marvelous Month of May

“How about a Maypole dance?” My Skype connection to Whitehorse was adequate at best, so Peter Jickling’s response seemed reasonable. “What?” “You know, cute kids in their fresh white shirts and smocked dresses, garlands of daisies in the girls’ hair as they dance around the Maypole. Who can resist a cute-kid pic, right?” “What?” Damn, …

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Strangely Funny, but True

Anthony Trombetta’s first act as new artistic director at the Guild Theatre was to throw out the rule book. Instead of a conventional play, the black box theatre in Porter Creek has been playing host this month to standup comics, a hypnotist and even a magician. Strange But True, which runs until Saturday, April 26, …

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We’re all works-in-progress

Sometimes it’s hard to believe you’re related. That’s the reality for Maggie and Rose Feller, the central characters in the 2005 film In Her Shoes, a comedy-drama available on DVD at Whitehorse Public Library. Maggie (Cameron Diaz) is a freewheeling party girl who doesn’t seem to ha ve much on her mind except men and clothes …

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Care and Feeding of Your Skateboarder: It’s that time of year again

And the thaw continues. Its only mid-March, but the snow in Whitehorse is almost gone and the theme from the Twilight Zone goes through my head every morning as I splash through puddles on my way to work. But let us not bemoan the impending planetary catastrophe known as global warming, let us rejoice instead …

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Eye on Dawson

A live news program with a twist has hit the cable airwaves in Dawson City. Since June 25, Curtis Collins and Alyssa Friesen have gone live on air every Tuesday at midnight to offer a satirical look at local, national and international events. Along with musical guests, interviews, stories and a faux commercial, the 30-minute …

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A lightbulb, a chair and a bowl

It must be a magic trick, because Andy Massingham is going to hold the attention of a Yukon Arts Centre audience for one hour with just a lightbulb, a chair and a bowl. “… and incredible shadows,” says Massingham over the phone discussing his play, Rough House, which shows at the Yukon Arts Centre April …

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Canadian Humour Lives Between Internal and External

Watching Extras will make you a better person. Well, maybe not, but if you took the time to watch Ricky Gervais’ comedic opus from start to its concluding special, you will have seen one of the greatest comedies on television. True story. This made me wonder about the state of Canadian comedy and, in particular, …

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These Comedians are Ready for the Big Time

Deep down in the cockles of my President’s Choice Deluxe White Cheddar macaroni and cheese clogged heart, there’s a yearning for some recognition. But not for myself. My need to perform is juxtaposed with my general shyness and predilection for reclusivity. I’m talking about a group of young folks out there that I can be …

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Comedy from a Sleep-Depraved Mind

I’m finally getting some good sleep these days. Recently, I was stage-managing the incredible Varietease show at the Guild: a cavalcade of comedy, song and, indeed, titillation. This basically amounted to many long evenings that blended into each other as we moved closer and closer to show time. By the time we were nearing the …

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Farewell, We Hardly Knew Ye … Heck, He Hardly Knew Ye-self

Perspective, use it or lose it. I pulled that one from my dog-eared copy of Illusions, by Richard Bach. It’s a fun read that takes a little more time expounding on the feathery philosophies he was discussing in his more famous work, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I usually pick up the book once a year and …

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A sex farce well told

Colin Heath was chatting online with Eric Epstein, the artistic director of The Guild. They were playing Scrabulous at the time because they both love words. So, when Epstein typed in the invitation to Heath to come to Whitehorse to direct What the Butler Saw, Heath accepted … because he loves words. “I love the …

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Memories, though invisible, are very real

“Go easy on the references to the Holocaust,” Jonathon Young says to me over the phone. “People will go into the theatre expecting it. “This play is much more about memory and how our actions affect our descendants.” The Invisible Life of Joseph Finch is, indeed, about re-creating one man’s life for the benefit of …

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Assignment: Fred Penner

About six years ago, Fred Penner came to town and I was very excited. I was freelancing for the Yukon News at the time and I pitched the idea of a profile to my editor. Alas, it had been promised to someone else. But now I am an editor and, when I heard Mr. Penner …

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This Hour Has 45 Minutes

“You can’t please ’em all.” Now there’s an oft-spouted aphorism from the comedy world, lemme tell you. This is a general kind of excuse you can drop to someone who has walked off the stage, not to thunderous applause but to deafening silence. Welcome to the wonderful world of bombing. I find stand-up comedy far …

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Where sex meets the ice

There are four corners of a net that hockey players shoot for to score a goal. The ‘Five Hole’ is that other spot that could lead to a score: between the goaltender’s legs. That is where Five Hole: Tales of Erotica spends its time … and in the locker room and hotel rooms and bars …

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Bring the funny … or else

After intense immersion in comedy last winter in Toronto, George Maratos has returned with a program that is making its second appearance Thursday night. The Stand Up Stand Off begins with a number of comics riffing on the same topic for two minutes. The audience decides who will go to the second round to present …

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What’s so funny about tourists, money and summer?

The prize, a battered gold pan streaked with red, was held aloft, like a trophy. George Maratos stepped up to the microphone like a gunslinger to announce the comedy Standup Standoff was about to begin. This was no laughing matter. Former champion Tristin Hopper was back to protect his title. The format of the comedy …

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Another Mack attack

To the Editor, Hookey, you fiendish, fiendly fiend. Like an anarchic CBC host maliciously injecting a noxious ear worm such as Seasons in the Sun into my auditory canal, you have wantonly invaded my gustatory system with the ineluctable memory of MacIntosh Toffee. Have you no regard for the fact that early addiction to this …

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A rollicking story of Cape Breton

Sheldon Currie wrote a short story about a family in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, that echoed his message in the acclaimed Margaret’s Museum. Lauchie, Liza and Rory, too, looks at a Cape Breton Island community that is populated with good people, from all over the world, who are otherwise cogs in the machine. Unlike Margaret’s …

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Comics Can’t Take a Joke

There’s been a bit of drama going on in the comedy world I now live in. A certain headlining comic was caught red-handed (mouthed?) stealing material from two other comics. Both jokes were told on stage word-for-word, so there’s absolutely no doubt that this was a case of parallel thought. Different comics coming up with …

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Comedian Anthony Trombetta

Local Comic Battles for Whitehorse on CBC’s The Debaters

Watch out, Whitehorse — you’re going to have to defend your place in Northern society. CBC Radio’s The Debaters is set to take the stage at the Yukon Arts Centre for a live taping with a local audience Sept. 28, and with it comes a very topical question: is Whitehorse the real Yukon? Local stand-up …

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Take My Encyclopedia. Please!

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know how to read. No. That’s not true at all. I am endlessly grateful that I can read, and I wish everyone in the world had that privilege. What I should have said is that I wish I weren’t addicted to books. No. That’s not quite it, either. I wish …

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Wicked wits of the west spar in Irish black comedy

There are two prizefighters in this ring. And they’ve been going round and round trading off the mantles of victor and victim for too many years. You have a sense that there is nothing left in their relationship but the fight. The Beauty Queen of Leenane, the award-winning play by Martin McDonagh, challenges an audience …

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Meat, My Friend, Bessie

My name is Anthony, and I love meat. This past holiday season I was granted a Christmas miracle: a miracle of the meaty kind. Some friends and I were pulling into Edmonton from a stand-up comedy gig in High Level, Alberta. For those geographically challenged, that’s an eight-hour drive, straight up, pretty much scraping the …

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Protective colouration

As a kid, I delivered the Windsor Star to Red Wings goalie Glenn Hall. As a cub reporter, I once photographed Toronto tough guy Eddie Shack. Playing baseball. In 1972, I scored a coup on As It Happens by walking beside Bobby Hull’s convertible and interviewing him en route to picking up his $1-million cheque …

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Loaded for Laughs

It’s the night of the first big snowfall, and that sound you’re hearing is the explosion of standup comedy in Whitehorse. At the Jarvis Street Saloon, it’s round three of the Punchline Punchout, a competition that pits five teams of comics against each other in five-minute sets, followed by an elimination round of impromptu rants …

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Playwright Sherry MacDonald shares her secrets to the creative process

Sherry MacDonald, the newest writer-in-residence at Dawson City’s Berton House, has a place secured in heaven. “There’s a special place in heaven for single moms who have raised three boys,” she says. MacDonald is a playwright and her plays have been seen on stages in Vancouver, Calgary, and Florida. Her sons are now grown and …

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MacHomer Erectus

Somewhere along the line, Rick Miller wandered from Moshe Safdie’s Legoland and the Bauhaus world of Walter Gropius to the raucous playground of William Shakespeare and …wait for it! … Homer Simpson. Miller is an actor, writer, singer, painter, comic and mynah bird capable of mimicking the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Meatloaf, Andrea …

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