by Hani Yassine
The Lance – Arts Editor
As the local comedy scene continues to sustain across multiple venues across the city, one event over the past few years has broken ground by projecting it to a grander scale.
The evening of Dec. 27 had a number of regional, national and international comedians take the stage for the third annual Windsor Comedy Festival. Far from a cornerstone comedy show, hundreds filled the seats of both the top and bottom sections of the Chrysler Theatre to embrace a variety of laughs from what is said to be a one of a kind event within the southwestern region.
“It was an idea to bring a world class style event here to Windsor,” said festival marketing director Shawn Talbot. “You really have to come to our show to see what’s making it different and gravitate to it.”
With local events during the holidays put on the backburner, Talbot finds marking the event between Christmas and New Years to make for a strong alternative to the usual night out. By upping the scale to the theatrical venue, it paves the way for a better quality show which in turn brings in added pressure for the comedians performing.
“Anytime someone does a theatre, you gotta bring it,” said Detroit-based comedian Josh Adams. “It’s almost like you’re on another level, and so all the comedians are just excited, and you want to go out there and really leave your mark on a place like this.”
A seasoned comic with experience in theatre shows, Adams tends to have his jitters prior to ever show due to the emphasis on putting out a strong routine. The sentiment is shared by fellow local comic Rob Kemeny, who was awarded Windsor’s Next Best Comic following his performance in Sunday night’s event. For Kemeny, it was the first time performing comedy at this scale, noting stark contrasts when it comes to the material you’re willing to put forth.
“It’s a different vibe here from a comedy club, because a lot of times in comedy clubs you can work on your stuff,” Kemeny said. “Here is where your act goes to flourish.”
Each comic on stage had roughly 10 minutes to perform their routine, most of which seemingly connected with audiences significantly as jokes ranged anywhere between the situational to the political. Talbot says the show is still working towards bringing an event which uniquely represents Windsor. But by continuing to hold premium comedy shows such as this one, it’s only a matter of time until the image becomes realized.
“Here we’re doing this as an actual event, and hopefully we’ll have people recognize the event and want to come over and over,” Talbot said. “Part of that is not only just having an event, but offering a quality show.”