The Halifax ComedyFest showcases top comics from across the country and around the world
By Trevor J. Adams
With live shows at stages around the city, featuring some 31 different acts, the Halifax ComedyFest is always a spring highlight in Halifax. Back for its 23rd year, the 2018 edition runs from April 25 until April 28.
The festival begins with the Opening Gala at Casino Nova Scotia on April 25. Greg Proops headlines. He’s one of North America’s most prolific comedians with an award-winning live podcast (The Smartest Man in the World), but he’s best known for his appearance on the TV improv show Whose Line is it Anyway? Proops also performed as a voice actor in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can also see Proops at the April 27 Gala Finale at the Spatz Theatre and hosting his live podcast on April 26 at The Carleton bar and grill.
The Opening Gala lineup also includes Ottawa native Jenn Labelle, Jean Paul from Trinidad (via Brooklyn and Toronto), and Nathan MacIntosh, who debuted on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and is now a regular on the comedy-fest circuit.
Festival favourite Jeremy Hotz returns to Halifax for the Gala of Laughs on Friday, April 27 at the Spatz Theatre on Trollope Street. One of the most unique stand-up comics working today, Jeremy’s known for his quirky, confused, and perpetually-miserable observational comedy. Other highlights from the show include Nova Scotian and local favourite Nikki Payne and Rob Pue, a regular on MTV’s Punk’d. Mark Critch, of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame, hosts.
Critch returns on April 28 to host the Gala of Laughs Finale at Spatz Theatre. The all-star show features the festival’s biggest names, including comedic all-star Tom Papa. With more than 20 years in stand-up, Papa is one of the top comedic voices in North America and a regular in film, TV, radio, podcasts, and on the live stage.
Papa is a regular on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Conan. He hosts the hit podcast and SiriusXM show Come to Papa, a weekly hour-long show exploring the funny side of life with guests like Mel Brooks, Ray Romano, Carl Reiner, and Jerry Seinfeld. Tom appears at the Gala of Laughs Finale on Saturday, April 28 at Spatz Theatre.
And this year, the festival spreads beyond the downtown core, with new shows in Dartmouth, Bedford, and Clayton Park. On April 27, find the Montes Comedy Power Hour at Montes Showbar Grill on Waverly Road in Dartmouth. The same night, Brewster’s Bar & Grill in Bedford hosts the Comedy Brew Ha Ha. On April 28 see feature LMAO at the Lower Deck Bar & Grill in Clayton Park.