Every year, a host of comedians from across Canada (with a smattering of Brits and Americans) descend into the spring melt of Winnipeg for a week of TV galas, theatre shows, club dates, and live radio recordings. Celebrating its lucky 13th year, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival -- run by Winnipeg-based comic Al Rae and the Gas Station Arts Centre -- is a favourite for performers, and the local audience benefits. Despite Winnipeg's relatively small size, the comedy festival is the second biggest in the country after Montreal's legendary Just for Laughs Festival., so the city definitely knows how to laugh.
Like previous years, there are plenty of ways for people to tickle their funny bone. There are the themed galas that air on CBC the following season -- with titles this year like "The Bro Show" and "The Future" -- which get the comics to focus their material on one topic. There are the always-reliable CBC radio shows, like The Debaters (which got its start at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival), The Irrelevant Show, and DNTO. There's Rumors Comedy Club, which features hour-long sets from some of the more seasoned stand-ups in the festival. And of course, there are other great shows taking place at the Gas Station Arts Centre and Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, including Bill Pat's one man show "I Hate Bill Pats" and the always fun and hopefully offensive "Dark & Stormy Show".
ShowbizMonkeys.com was once again given the opportunity to speak to several of the comics taking part in this year's festival, as well as getting around town to see several of the shows throughout the week. We've decided to use Storify to track our coverage during the week, with some Instagram photos, tweets, and links to our interviews as they get posted.
For more information and to get tickets to any of the numerous shows for the 2014 Winnipeg Comedy Festival, visit www.winnipegcomedyfestival.com.
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