By Alyssa De Rosa – mtltimes.ca
Despite Comedyworks’ closure – a landmark for many Canadian comedians over the years, Montreal still remains a comedy hub. With sold out comedy shows at “Just for Laughs” – the biggest comedy event in the world set to hit the stage very soon, it goes to show that the people of Montreal are definitely in favor of comedy.
Jimbo Skomorowski, the Comedyworks owner closed his doors suddenly last Friday leaving many comedians and fans shocked, saddened and confused. Some comedians took to Twitter and cited their sadness, calling Comedyworks “legendary,” and saying that it will truly be missed.
“Jimbo” told media that finances are the reason for the closure – explaining that the club was in overwhelming debt. However, he also blames the downtown parking mess or lack thereof. Due to the increased amount of construction and condo erections around the Comedyworks building, Skomorowski says that people have trouble finding parking. Whether debts or parking are to blame for the Comedyworks closure, comedy is still thriving in the city.
Small venues like “The Comedy Nest” on St-Catherine West was voted Montreal’s best comedy club this year. The club sits up to 160 people and has been around for over 30 years. For the next two months you can expect big time comedians such as Derek Seguin, Gavin Stephens and Tom Clark just to name a few. This little piece of history doesn’t look like it’s going to be shutting its doors anytime soon.
Popular Montreal native Sugar Sammy is showing no signs of slowing down either with added, sold out shows to his popular “You’re Gonna Rire” show, his success is proof that both Anglophones and Francophones need a good laugh. After winning the “Olivier de l’année” for the second consecutive year – an award that is given to the best Quebec comedian, his growing support in both Montreal and in Canada is refreshing and satisfying to see. International comedians like Bill Burr, Louis C.K., and Aziz Ansari travel to Montreal and sell out venues like The Metropolis and The Olympia – huge venues which ultimately create a lot of buzz in the city.
After having spoken to comedy enthusiasts, many agree that the comedy scene in the city is evolving. It’s definitely flourishing, with more and more “comedy fundraisers” in play and the “internet comedians” making their way to the physical stage.
Comedy is not dead. As Maya Angelou said “I’m a serious person. You need to laugh. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”