GARAGE HUMOUR LEAGUE
Mathieu Proulx, 29, has been slamming for ages, primarily in Sherbrooke, where he lived until recently. One year ago, a friend convinced him to do stand-up in Montréal.
Now he’s got the bug. So much so that he moved here and now entertains revellers several nights a week in such Montréal bars as Zaz, Loup-Garou, Mousse Café and the Bordel Comédie Club.
“There’s a fourth wall when you slam,” he says. “You deliver your text and there’s not too much response. But humour involves lots of back-and-forth with your audience. And the first time you realize you can make folks laugh, you just want to go back and do it again!”
These inexpensive ($5-$7 for a show of some 1.5 hours) evenings start whenever the lights go up on a dozen newbie comedians, each seeking her or his five minutes of fame. And they’ve become the new wave in Montréal, ever since Bordel Comédie Club opened a bit more than two years ago.
Bordel, started primarily by well-known comics, such as Louis-José Houde, Mike Ward and Martin Petit, was the first to give complete unknowns a mic—and stage.
“Comedians soon convinced other bars to do the same kind of thing.”
Savor the moment
There are now over 50 regulars who try out new material in Montréal pubs.
These young humourists, mostly in their thirties, all know each other and most are hoping for that big break. But Mathieu is a realist:
“We try to go as far as we can, to book open mic nights and play outside Montréal. You’ve got to go all out, without worrying too much. Don’t tell yourself you’ll only be happy when you get your big break. Just be happy whenever you go live, in front of an audience.”
Visit the « Humour et improvisation à Montréal » Facebook page for a list of open mic comedy nights.