10. Festivals Two September comedy festivals—the Calgary International Improv Festival and the new YYComedy Festival—spotlight local talent. The Calgary International Improv Festival features improv and stand-up performances at various venues. The YYComedy Festival kicked off its inaugural year in 2012 with performances by both emerging and established comedians, including Kids in the Hall alumni Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney.
9. Improv Guild A performance theatre and training centre for improvised acting which features local shows and acts every Friday at 8 p.m. Drop-in improv classes for all experience levels take place every Sunday at noon, September through June. Tickets available at the door. Call 403-703-4705 for more information.
8. Juliet’s Castle This northeast sports bar hosts the popular Going to Hell Sundays experimental open comedy show. Featuring professional touring performers and local emerging talent, the show’s main focus is crude and uncensored humour. Show at 8 p.m. No cover charge.
7. Lolita’s Lounge This intimate Inglewood lounge hosts the monthly Red Carpet Comedy open comedy performance. Similar in format to other open-mic shows, Red Carpet Comedy has a twist: performers must all be professionals, and sketch material must be new. The show begins at 6 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month. Tickets available at the door.
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6. Kaboom… Hooray! A monthly showcase at Yuk Yuk’s featuring short experimental stand-up sketches by local comics. Tickets available at the door. Shows are held the first Wednesday of every month.
5. Broken City Every week, this popular indie bar in the Design District hosts the open mic Comedy Monday Night. The majority of performers are first-timers trying out new material, but a handful of stand-up comedy veterans often stop by for some stage time. The show begins at 8 p.m. every Monday. Tickets $5, available at the door.
4. Loose Moose Theatre Company This improvisational acting school presents weekend performances that include improv theatre sports and collaborations with touring comics. Shows begin at 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Ticket prices vary. Call the Loose Moose Theatre Company box office for more information, 403-265-5682.
3. The Comedy Cave Despite its concealed location in the basement of a Travelodge, the Comedy Cave hosts some of the biggest names in the comedy industry including recent headliners Lamont Ferguson of Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing semi-finalist David Huntsberger. Show times are Tuesday through Sunday 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:30 pm. Tickets $10, call 403-287-1120.
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2. The Laugh Shop Hotel Blackfoot’s intimate Laugh Shop lounge features big-name comics and entertainers including recent headliners America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon and Comedy Network’s Trent McClellan. Show times and ticket prices vary. Call the Laugh Shop box office for more information, 403-255-6900.
1. Yuk Yuk’s A Canadian chain of comedy clubs with its Calgary location in the Elbow River Casino. The club focuses on local and emerging stand-up comics as well as ahandful of big-name entertainers. Regular headliners include Calgary’s own Ian Wallace, Tony Binns and Donovan Deschner. Show times and ticket prices vary. Call the Yuk Yuk’s box office, 403-258-2028.
— Sarah Sussman
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