By Brittany Rudyck
EDMONTON — The Empress Comedy Night is gearing up to celebrate two full years of making Edmontonians bust their guts. Originally started by Clare Belford, one of the city’s most popular comedy nights was passed on to hosts Carina Morton and Simon Glassman last September. BeatRoute chatted with Morton to get the nitty gritty.
BeatRoute: What is so special about the comedy night happening on March 6th?
Carina Morton: This is our second year anniversary show for the comedy night. Last year, they decided to make the year anniversary a special thing as it’s a very popular show. They flew in Mark Little last year, who is a pretty big deal. This year, we wanted to keep the tradition up, so we’re flying in Pat Thornton. He has a sketch on Comedy Central called Hotbox, he’s on a show on CityTV called Sunnyside, he’s been on Just for Laughs and Royal Canadian Air Farce, so he is also a pretty big deal. The cool thing is that it’s independent. We’re just a bar, so people’s tickets are paying to bring him in basically.
BR: What has your experience been like since beginning to co-host the comedy nights?
CM: It’s been really fun. It’s an amazing show and the staff is really supportive. They’re amazing. The audiences are very fun and they love to be there. The best audience you could ask for.
BR: For the people who are more prone to going to live music or to see bands, why should people try this comedy show instead?
CM: The appeal of this show, specifically, is that we’ve got a huge range of comedy and comedic styles. Pat Thornton is very unique, not like what you might be used to on a Netflix special. There’ll also be musical comedy; we’ve got ladies and gentlemen; a special guest from out of town, other than Pat; a guest from Comedy Records and more. It’s a show for everybody. We created it with that thought in mind, really.
BR: Piggybacking off my last question, for those of us on the outside of the comedic community, what is Edmonton’s comedy scene like on the grander scale?
CM: Edmonton has a very strong scene. The sheer volume of comics in the scene would surprise a lot of people. There’s at least one show every night of the week, but usually two. There are comedy roast battles and so many diverse shows. They’ll mix comedy and music a ton, there’s improv and so much more. The scene is amazingly strong. You can pretty much go to a free comedy show every night of the week and see some great up and coming comics.
BR: For those who want to get started in comedy, what would be their first step so they too, can be part of the Empress Comedy Show one day?
CM: There are tons and tons and tons of open mic nights. If you’re just starting out, just get on stage. It’s alarmingly simple. Everybody is extremely welcoming. Everyone wants to see new faces and once you meet one comic, you’ll meet 55-hundred others. There’s a lot of togetherness in this community.
The Empress Comedy Night’s Second Anniversary takes place on March 6th. The hilarity kicks off at 8:30 p.m.AB, Alberta, Empress Comedy Night, stand-up comedy