By Graeme Wiggins
VANCOUVER — These days it can seem like the closest stand up comedy gets to politics is to rail against “political correctness” and try to push the boundaries of edgy humour. While the popularity of political comedy on television has risen, thanks to the likes of John Oliver and Samantha Bee, that same surge hasn’t made it out as strongly to stand-up. Simon King’s Protest Comedy show, featuring an array of local talent and focusing on social issues, seeks to change that.
Simon King’s return to town started with the venue and worked from there. He explains, “I was out of the country for awhile and I hadn’t done anything at the Rickshaw in awhile. And I thought I’d like to do something around a theme, and this seemed right within the current political climate.” This theme, while keeping with his style as a comedian, also seems primed to capture a little something of the zeitgeist. “With the American election and Black Lives Matter and everything, it seems like the right time, that there was an appetite for this kind of thing. People who aren’t necessarily as plugged in or socially aware are becoming more so. I thought I’d do something to let people know that Comedy, like music, is an art form that can have a strong social undertone if it’s done in a certain way.”
The comedians involved (Dylan Rhymer, Richard Thompson, Katrina Bennett, and King himself) all work social change or commentary into their work.
The event will also bring a musical component, with a punk rock party afterwards featuring headliners The Defektors among others. As King describes, “Punk music, given its social side of things seemed like a good fit. The Rickshaw said they could find some bands and we could do this as a two-part punk rock and comedy show.”
Protest Comedy will be on August 13 at the Rickshaw Theatre.BC, British Columbia, Rickshaw Theatre, Simon King, Simon King’s Protest Comedy, stand-up comedy