Culture & Conversation

Open your mind to Open Mic

Eman El Husseini at Comedyworks

Eman El Husseini at Comedyworks

Montreal is home to Just For Laughs, the most prestigious Comedy Festival on the planet. So you’d think comedy would be huge in this town. Unfortunately, it’s only huge for huge acts. People come out in a pack to see a well-known comic, and that’s great. It’s something to look forward to – but for now can you come and support us while we’re crawling to fame and fortune? I’m hoping to turn you on to something different: the ever underrated Open Mic Night (cue Saw soundtrack).

I love open mic nights for so many reasons — they’re cheap, they’re experimental, they’re local and, best of all, you can impress your hipster friends by showing them an undiscovered side of the city. There’s tons of bad comedy out there, tons!

It goes from terrible to worse and it usually happens on Open Mic night. From masturbation rituals to farting practices, from smoking weed to bodily excrement, there’s no shortage of young comics who will “go there” no matter where “there” is. And although toilet humour often takes centre stage, there’s almost always a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.

Witnessing a joke as a work-in-progress may sound as exciting as watching grass grow but it’s really very endearing. We not only have an immense pool of undiscovered talent in Montreal, the city’s many professional comedians often slum at the open mics trying out their newly crafted jokes. I guarantee that $5 entry fee worth is worth every penny (RIP dear Canadian cent).

Like sex, comedy can be good or bad. And yes, the more you pay for it the better it tends to be. But that doesn’t stop you from trying something new in the bedroom, does it? Who knows, it might be even better than what you’re used to. That, my friends, is the thrill of open mic night. And just like some guys still don’t know what they’re doing in the bedroom, some comedians are goooood. Not only that, they’re all trying out new tricks that will only get better with time and practice. Still, it’s always good to keep in mind that, as in sex, low expectations never hurt.

So go to your nearest open mic and get yourself a favourite local comic. They’re so vulnerable and nervous and probably even drunk. Basically, come at us when we’re still approachable.

What I’m trying to say is, open mic is cool. It’s underground, it’s under rated, and with shows happening almost every night, the Montreal scene has never been better. Support live comedy and keep laughing.

Comedy Works, 1238 Bishop
Blue Dog Lounge, 3958 St Laurent: Loonie Lundis

Comedy Works, 1238 Bishop: Stand Up Tuesdays  & Drop the Gloves at
Grumpy’s, 1242 Bishop: Drop the Gloves

Comedyworks, 1238 Bishop : Gong Show Giveaway
Comedy Nest, 2313 St Catherine West: Open Mic
Burritoville, 2055 Bishop: Shut Up and Laugh
Bar Privateer, 1222 Mackay: Open Mic

Eman has appeared in numerous comedy festivals, Just for Laughs, Halifax Comedy Festival, and the New York Arab American Comedy Festival, to name a few. “Kinda pretty, kinda smart, very funny” says Eman’s mom. and @eman_comedian

  • 3 Responses to “Open your mind to Open Mic”

    1. Ash

      Ooops, missed from the list was the longest running stand-up (Grumpy's is wide open to music, poetry… anything) open mic:

      Kick Ash Comedy Show
      9pm Every Tuesday (and it starts on time!)
      Andrews Pub, 1239 Guy, Montreal (some of the best drink specials in town)

      For an up to date list, which includes Thursday, Friday and Saturday open mics check out this facebook link:

    2. Ash

      Ooops, missed from the list was the longest running stand-up (Grumpy's is wide open to music, poetry… anything) open mic:

      Kick Ash Comedy Show, 9pm, 1239 Guy


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