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Courtesy Harry Doupe

Fifth annual YYComedy Festival brings laughter to Calgary stages

By Rachel Woodward, September 27 2016 —

Featuring a slate of seasoned comedy veterans, the YYComedy Festival is Alberta’s largest comedy festival. The fifth annual event will take over Calgary’s comedy scene until Oct. 1.

Festival co-founder Harry Doupe says this year’s iteration is the best yet.

“I think [with] this being our fifth year, we are more packed talent-wise than we have been. Not to say that we haven’t been in the past, but this year it’s an extra boost of talent,” he says. “Our mandate every year is to put together the strongest lineup of comedy to be seen on Alberta stages.

The festival will take place at various locations around the city, such as the Plaza Theatre — where some big-name headliners will feature — and Vern’s Tavern, Loose Moose Theatre and Oak Tree Tavern comedy clubs.

With headliners including Janeane Garofalo and Todd Barry, audiences can anticipate a week of familiar faces and many laughs.

Doupe says Calgary is very welcoming to festivals and the scene has grown for many years.

“It’s a pretty wide comedy scene, there’s been stand-up here since [Yuk] Yuk’s opened up in ‘86. The Loose Moose Theatre … has been turning out so many great talents, so there’s always been a good base here,” he says. “The scene right now is flourishing a fair bit. There’s lots of room in all kinds of varieties for improv and sketch stand-up.”

The Funny 1060 AM YYComedy Festival Gala will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1 and will be one of the largest comedy events held in the city this year. Corner Gas’s Brent Butt will perform at the gala as well as The Kids in the Hall’s Kevin McDonald.

Besides stand-up, the festival will feature a short-film contest, improv and a performance from local improv group The Kinkonauts.

“We try to bring the whole comedy community together for a week,” Doupe says. “Our hope every year is that everyone will go out and see comedy for a week.”

Tickets are available online for all events. Event prices range from free to $52.25.

For more information, visit yycomedy.ca

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