Yuk Yuks stand up comedy club has been a part of the Cambie Village for nearly three years now, offering everything from headliner to amateur comedians four nights per week. The stand up comedy club is part of a Canadian franchise which began in Toronto in 1976 and now has over 15 clubs across Canada. “The franchise contributes to the quality of the acts and the show formats, which are tried and true,” says Garry Yuill, owner of Yuk Yuks Vancouver. “It’s a great environment for those attending their first comedy show.”
Not only concerned with bringing in a crowd, Yuk Yuks prides itself on helping novice comedians get their start. Amateur nights, local showcases, and the opportunity to tour all of Yuk Yuks clubs contribute to the development of great comedians, which in turn keeps Canada’s comedy scene fresh and vibrant.
Vancouver Island Native Damonde Tschritter got his start at Yuk Yuks in Vancouver, doing his first tour in 1997 and becoming a headliner in 1998. “Yuk Yuks is a huge opportunity for Canadian comedians to get started,” Damonde says, “You could do a show every week and that stage time is valuable.” Since then he has done tours, television specials for channels like CTV and HBO, as well as being the only Canadian to ever win the Seattle International Comedy Competition. Touring across the Canada was a valuable experience because it taught him to be able to adapt a set to different audiences, be they university students, aging hippies, or even a crowd of rowdy women waiting to see a male stripper.“You learn how to be funny across the whole country,” Damonde says. But even those comedians who choose to stick close to home benefit from the Yuk Yuks legacy, as seasoned comedians attend the Thursday night showcase to mentor novices.
So when is the best time to catch a comedy show at Yuk Yuks? You might think that Fridays and Saturdays would be prime time, but other days of the week will surprise you. Garry recommends the Thursday night showcases. “Everyone wants to go out to the headliner shows on Friday and Saturday, but the inside scoop is that Thursday nights can be something really special. There can be unexpected extra stage time, mishaps, and [Thursdays] are generally a bit more relaxed fun.” If, by chance, you want to try your hand at stand up comedy, Wednesday night is amateur night. For those looking for the headliners, Ali Wong and Todd Glass will be headlining at Yuk Yuks Vancouver in February.