Alberta Comedy Opens a Month of Laughs

Ottawa XPress – April 28, 2005

The anti-PC from Conservative country: Comedian Andrew Grose warns Ottawans to leave their political correctness at home for the Alberta Beef Comedy Tour

The eastern borders have been reopened and 600 pounds of Alberta comedy is coming our way. As part of the Alberta Scene that runs April 28 to May 10, the Beyond the Scene showcase is presenting the third national run of the Alberta Beef Comedy Tour, which promises to be so funny you’ll pee your saddle!

This year one of Canada’s top acts, Andrew Grose, headlines the event happening at Yuk Yuk’s. Grose has performed three times at Just For Laughs, touring twice with its national road show. He has appeared on Comedy Now, CBC’s Comics, and Comedy at Club 54, at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and the Halifax Comedy Festival, and in his own sitcom on the Comedy Network, The Comedy Stampede Special.

Originally from the Maritimes, Grose says of Alberta: “There’s more Newfies in Fort McMurray than there is in St. John’s.” And of the people: “We’re not all that politically connected out here and not because we don’t understand politics… we just don’t care. We still call our best friends ‘retarded’ without fear of the political correctness police laying a charge and we keep electing a hopeless alcoholic as premier only because we know it baffles you easterners and that amuses us.”

Grose is the founder and head organizer of the annual Laughing for Cancer benefit, which has raised a serious $192,000 with the help of other Alberta comics for the Alberta Cancer Foundation since 2002. “My wife’s father passed away from cancer in 2002 and I just felt helpless to do anything except hold a benefit and get his name put on the wall of donors at the Cross Cancer Institute.”

Sharing the stage with Grose this week is Howie Miller, Paul Myrehaug and Toby Hargrave. “Howie Miller, a native comic, often has to reassure Ontario crowds that it’s okay to listen to native jokes. I, on the other hand, am less subtle,” admits Grose. “I won’t tolerate political correctness for two seconds.” Grose says Ottawans will “have to be deprogrammed not to be politically correct and judgmental early in the show.”

With so much talent wrangled up into one herd, you’re guaranteed to bust a button off your britches when you get a load of this lot.

The Yuk Yuk’s Alberta Beef Comedy Tour, April 28 to May 1, and May 5 to 8, at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays ($15), 9:30 p.m. Fridays ($20), 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturdays ($20), and 8 p.m. Sundays ($15), 88 Albert Street, 236-5233.


Andrea Jensen, a must-see who outperformed the headlining Dickwhipped girls last month, will be at the Joan Rivers show on Thursday May 5, 8 p.m., at the Casino Lac Lemay. Tickets: $56 or $66. Jensen’s snide vulgarity and outrageous honesty will have you bent over clutching your belly.

And the Absolute Comedy Club (412 Preston Street, 233-8000) presents Caroline Picard from May 11 to 21. All the way from Houston, Texas, Picard is described on her website as a Louisiana-bred national and international touring comic of 12 years who is fuelled by ice-cold beer, gumbo, BBQ and natural talent. “She has the amazing ability to take a crowd by the ears… and shake them till they are rolling in the aisles,” says Absolute owner, manager and comedian Jason Laurans. That show costs $12 Saturdays, $10 Fridays, $8 Thursdays and $5 Wednesdays.

– Sylvie Hill