Live showcase a laughing matter

by | Feb 28, 2014 | A&E

Shoynear Morrison
A&E Reporter

Whether you’re laughing at or along with them, Humber’s Stand-up Comedy Showcase is designed to help student comedians deal with a tough crowd.
The Stand-up Showcase is an annual two-night event that assists amateur comedians to perform under pressure, said Larry Horowitz, professor in the comedy performance and writing program.
Horowitz is in charge of coordinating the event for second-year comedy students. He said this year’s showcase will be held on Mar. 25 and Apr. 1 at Yuk Yuk’s downtown.
According to the event’s website, the showcase costs $4.00 and will begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We have evaluators come in to judge the performers. The evaluators are all graduates of the program, teachers and professional comics,” said Horowitz. “After the exercises, we take a look at all the evaluation results in class, so students can find out how well they did under the pressure of being evaluated.”
Students have the opportunity to test their zingers at Yuk Yuk’s every Tuesday until the comedy showcase, he said.
“Some are just first-year students learning the art. Some others are second-year students practicing for the showcase exercises,” Horowitz said.
One of the many student comedians practicing her stand-up at Yuk Yuk’s on Tuesday was first-year comedy performance and writing student Meg MacKay.
“If you’re not laughing then nothing in the world makes sense,” MacKay said.
Becoming nervous in front of a live audience is not an option for these students. She said students eventually get past this feeling of doubt.
“Eating dirt in front of a bunch of people is just part of the game,” said Mackay.
Following Mackay’s comedy act was first-year comedy performance and writing student Mitchell Leblanc.
After being involved in improv for five years at the University of Toronto, Leblanc decided to divulge further into a career in comedy.
“My material comes from me just thinking really hard about things that I see in the world,” said Leblanc.
If the audience does not respond positively to his act he does not get discouraged, Leblanc said.
“Generally I think it’s a problem with my writing. It usually means I need to go back to drawing board and rework the idea,” he said.
“I think if you come up with something funny in most circumstances the audience will be with you.”

Yuk Yuk’s is located at 225 Richmond St. W.