The Best Comedy Shows in Vancouver for Your Buck

I don’t know if there’s something in the air lately, or what—maybe it’s because the Comedy Fest just happened, too—but there seems to be an overabundance of awesome and cheap comedy happening in Vancouver these days. I am always on a budget that screams “never do anything fun!” but when I do have a little bit of money, I’d prefer to laugh over most other forms of entertainment. With that in mind, here are some post-Comedy Fest laughs you can grab on the cheap. Have fun!

1. The Laugh Gallery – Monthly @ The Havana, www.eastvancomedy.com, $5

This long-time standup show is hosted by the most adorable, teddy bear like comedian around, Graham Clark. It’s back in a regular timeslot now—as part of the amazing East Van Comedy series at the Havana on Commercial Drive—after floating around for a while, and I for one couldn’t be happier. Come for the laughs, stay for the prizes, which Clark sources from local secondhand shops and which run the gamut from awesomely terrible to just-plain-awesome. Check the website for the next monthly installment.

2. VTSL’s Rookie Night – Every Sunday night @ The Improv Centre, www.vtsl.com, $13.50 (with a drink)

Vancouver’s TheatreSports company has been in business for over 30 years, and in the process has had many illustrious local comedians grace its stages. Now at its own theatre on Granville Island, the theatre has a huge slate of weekly shows, mostly in the $30 price range. But if you’re not willing to drop that much dough for a night of laughs, worry not: every Sunday night, the theatre lets its rookie performers take over—many of whom are as funny if not funnier than the mainstage players (sorry, mainstage!). And it’s cheaper than other shows, too. Best of both!

3. The Sunday Service – Every Sunday night @ the Kozmik Zoo, www.thesundayservice.ca, $5

If you’re a little weirder than the average bear and like your improv comedy to match, you’ll find your laughs at the Sunday Service. This group of dudes and one dudette (the newly cast, awesome Caitlin Howden, a vet of Toronto’s Second City) will do a more stream-of-consciousness style show, one that its regulars have come to love so much they more or less keep the venue (a so-so restaurant) alive with their Sunday-eve presence. There are okay menu items and good drinks, too, which mean you can scarf, slurp guffaw at the same time.

*4. Say Wha?! – Monthly-ish @ The Havana and Cottage Bistro, www.sarabynoe.com, $5 *

A night of local funny types reading and discussing the worst writing they can find, from romance novels to sci-fi screeds to fan fiction to terrible blogs and more. The writing will make you “say wha!?” but it’s the readers’ comedic style in dealing with it that makes it great. And while the awful array of “literature” out there brings you in, hostess with the Mostess Sara Bynoe (a charming and lovely actor/writer) truly makes this night memorable.

5. Raincity Chronicles – Monthlyish @ Various Venues, www.raincitychronicles.com, check site for prices

Not every story told by local tellers at this themed night is funny, but most are (and the brief reprieves granted by serious stories are a good palette cleanser). And with consistently sold-out houses and amazing extras like cookies, crafts and more, this night is a perpetual pleasure. It’ll cost a little more than other comedy events, but you’re getting A LOT of show for your buck. Check the website for the next installment, readers, and more. Love this one.

What’s your favourite Vancouver comedy event? Let us know in the comments below!

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