Weekly comedy night celebrates 5-year anniversary.
Jessica Seburn, CONTRIBUTOR
Comedy Wednesday’s at Jekyll and Hyde’s Freehouse celebrated its five-year anniversary on November 9th.
Benjamin Walker, 36, is the host of Comedy Wednesday’s. He said the show started when he and Oddblock Comedy Festival creator, John B. Duff, realized there was a gap in the local open mic schedule. The two paired up to create the weekly show.
Over the past five years, it has become a staple for local comedians and fans alike.
Breeann Kusyk, who has been attend- ing Jekyll and Hyde’s comedy nights for almost three years, ranks the venue as one of her favourites.
“There’s always a variety of comics. It’s pleasantly unpredictable,” she said.
Walker said he’s been performing comedy for seven years, and hosting for five.
“It’s not easy, but I love doing it,” he said.
Florence Spence, one of the few female Indigenous comedians on the scene, performed among the local comics at the anniversary show on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Spence said she’s been performing at the show since the beginning.
“I do most of my learning here. I’ve bombed so many times. When you crack this crowd, you feel like you’re developing as a comic,” said Spence.
Another local comic, Benji Rothman said that despite needing to take a hiatus from comedy due to the pressure that came with it, he has a renewed love for comedy and this open mic.
“All the fans are great here. It’s inclusive and feels like home,” Rothman, 29, said.
And it’s not only local comedians that Jekyll and Hyde’s attracts. Out of town performers are known to often stop by to do a set after headlining at Rumor’s Comedy Club. Darryl Lenox (Comedy Central), a blind comic, headlined the evening of the anniversary show.
Walker says one of the highlights in the five-year history of the open mic night was when Eddie Steeples from My Name is Earl visited and performed.
Walker suggests Red River College students should participate in comedy, in particular, those who take Kenton Larsen’s Comedy Writing course.
“If the students get the performance bug after the CreCommedy night, I encourage them to try a few of the open mics in the city,” Walker said.
Comedy at Jekyll and Hyde’s takes place every Wednesday at 437 Stradbrook Ave. The show starts at 9 p.m., arrive at 8 p.m. to sign up to perform.