As JH1 and a guest blogger go out this evening to watch and review comedy in Ottawa to give you the scoop on "WHAT TO WATCH", I would like to take this evening to address Why to watch. Why spend your hard earned money on comedy? And Why is JH5 spending time money and energy on reviewing comedy for you? Why oh why oh why?
Firstly, as anyone who is familiar with JH5 and our shows knows, we are huge fans of stand up comedy. There is nothing like the feeling of sitting with a crowd of people and being part of a collective audience watching a performer slowly reveal their inner side, in a comical fashion. The new generation, they are used to You Tube and online media. They think that Dane Cook is "da bomb" (is that what kids say nowadays) and that they get just as much entertainment watching their internet than they do with live comedy. This is like comparing sparking apple cider to a Vintage wine, just waiting for you to open it, seducing you to taste it, this is live comedy. You can pop open any old cork of cider/you tube comedy, sure you may get a small sensation of taste, but their is little about the event that is memorable. With live comedy, you get to slowly caress the bottle (the MC), you pop the cork and pour just a little to get a little taste (opener) then you smell your wine, to make sure it is a good year and to get a good feel for it (middle act) and then you sip, and heaven slowly touches your tongue (headliner). When you are done the glass of wine, as when you are done with good live comedy, you leave a little more relaxed knowing that you have been part of something special, something that you will remember and maybe even talk about the next day.
This feeling of good comedy, it is an experience. Unfortunately, people may have attended an amateur show, or people just trying out comedy and have missed what good comedy is. To watch good comedy, you need to hit one of the clubs. Not every comic is for every person. I have my favorites, the styles I like etc., but even when it is not my taste, the enjoyment is still there. This feeling, this experience of live comedy (good live comedy) is what JH5 wants people to get excited about again. Ottawa and surrounding areas has access to good comedy every weekend. Every weekend folks, the clubs are there waiting for you to come so they can entertain you.
So why does JH5 do the reviews? Why can't we just tell you comedy is great, go on and watch? We as an organization, want to let you the potential audience, know what you are signing on for. We are not going as high class critic there to tear apart the headliner (unless deserved, but honestly the clubs put a lot of work into who their headliners are, so we are generally going with someone of talent). We go to show you the reader what to watch. We review 2 comedy shows and give you a feel for mood, tone, topics, dark/not dark, props etc . etc. We will let you know how the audience on Thursday night enjoyed the show. We want to give you as many tools as we can to make a decision to get out there and enjoy some comedy. We also want to highlight some good work being done. We want to let you know who some superstars are. As we expand our website and our comedy section, we wish to fill you in on some of our favorites. For example, this evening at Yuk Yuk's JH1 is out in the field watching Daryl Lennox (sure to be a great time) but will also have a chance to review and showcase one of our local faves, Alex Wood. (so adorable, you just want to pinch his cheeks!). Our guest blogger is over at Absolute Comedy reviewing Andrew Evans. We are not familiar with his work yet, but after tonight we and you will be.
So this is Why we do what we do. We want to excite people about live comedy again. We want to entice you to skip the lame movie and popcorn, and go out and support live art form that will give you an experience to take forward in your life. Just like that sip of wine, it lasts a definite amount of time, but the lingering effects, they want you to come back and experience different brands/types and to slowly learn to appreciate what separates good comedy (wine) from the Dane Cooks of the world.
So go out this weekend, and take a sip!