By Colin Gallant
CALGARY — die Laughing (lowercase is stylistically intentional) is Calgary’s deadliest new monthly party. The death toll for their first show was… Nah, I’m messing with you. The whole “die” part comes from the German word for “the,” and the only thing you have to fear is confronting your notions of limits in comedy and maybe peeing yourself a little. The monthly event takes place at Wine-Ohs and features stand-up, music and the unexpected.
Organized by Sarah Adams, Jeff D’Silva and Evan Wilson, die Laughing comes with a certain pedigree for when keeping it weird works best. Adams and Wilson co-curate the comedy program at Sled Island, and were honoured with runner-up Best Comedian at Best of Calgary 2016 and a 2015 Top 40 Under 40 shout-out respectively. D’Silva has done every style of comedy from talk show host to music, and has made popular videos for Funny or Die (there’s that word again). There’s plenty more to say about these folks but why don’t I step aside and let the funny people do the talking?
Of their first show back in January, Adams recalls: “You missed flying jokes, two accidentally booked house bands (electronica dj Ecigs and folk duo Somerset & Bridlewood), more fun music, plus we literally murdered 2016 FOR GOOD.” And for February’s show? Wilson teases: “Next one is our valentimes [sic] day hangover show,” with Adams making bold promises like “we are having a WEDDING. And possibly a divorce!”
On the sake of this being a variety show as opposed to just stand-up sets, D’Silva notes: “Variety encourages everyone to experiment a little more. It’s like a great community college and we are merely freshmen,” while Adams adds, “We’re exploring what funny even is, and it can kinda be anything, so that’s fun!”
Finally, the three were asked what their wildest dreams for die Laughing are. The responses were good to choose between.
Adams: “We become a hotly anticipated weekly weirdo shit show, all the cool comedians who come through town BEG us for spots, we no longer use our legs but are instead carried on shoulders 24/7, a wealthy but distant relative dies and leaves us their fortune, our doctors declare us to be in perfect health, we start a dog sanctuary, global warming is reversed, Jemaine Clement proposes to Sarah, Trump is impeached.
D’Silva: “I hope we become the greatest variety comedy troupe ever known and we change the world with our comedy but then breakup shortly after playing a rooftop show because of ego and artistic differences. All of us go on to have successful solo careers but we never reach the lofty heights established by our years together.” (There was a whole Beatles theme to his responses but then I went and ruined it with editing.)
Wilson: “Board game, action figures and the cover of BeatRoute. (Not sure if it’s a photo or like a cartoon likeness, but we’ll take it.)“
The next die Laughing (pronounced “the Laughing”) takes place on February 15th at Wine-Ohs. Organizers have also locked down March 8th and April 19th for the following two events.AB, Alberta, die Laughing, stand-up comedy, Wine-Ohs