Aspiring stand-up comedians and fans of the craft can't complain these days about the number and quality of opportunities to chuckle in the North Bay area.
In fact, 2018 will go down as the best year ever for local talent and their supporters.
And this week is the icing on the cake before the bar and show circuit basically shuts down in December.
There are three chances to take the stage or sit and chuckle over the next 10 days, a rare occurrence in a small market in Northern Ontario. Bigger centres have several open mics to choose from every week. Aspiring comics need that kind of repetition to polish their acts, find out what works and what doesn't.
First up is an open mic Thursday, Nov. 15 at Cecil's Brewhouse and Kitchen. This is the fourth of the series that started in August and they've been pretty good so far. Radio and other promotion by the venue, along with those involved with the Stand-Up Comedy North Bay crew stirring up interest online and in print, has helped bring out decent crowds.
On Saturday, Nov. 17 there's a pro show as 705Comedy presents Amish Patel and Morgan O'Shea as the headliners at the Summit Dance Club (part of the Voyageur Hotel). This is the third show at the Summit organized by local veteran Andre Raymond, who is hosting the events. Appearing as the local opener this time is your's truly and I'm excited about my first opportunity to be part of a pro gig (even if there's no pay for me and I'm tasked with promotion and selling tickets for the opportunity ... it's called paying your dues).
And then, a week later, there's an open mic at the Powassan Sportsplex Saturday, Nov. 24. There already 10 funny-bones signed on for the second such event in Friendly Town. The first one Oct. 13 was a smashing success with the arena benefiting from the $5 entrance fee.