Comedians are very gifted in working an audience with building up a joke and delivering a punchline. If everything pays off, laughter usually ensues — and most would say the reaction is the best sound in the world.
But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the live performance scene across the country has been brought to a halt. As a result, comedians are faced with financial hardships with little to no revenue coming in.
Locals Myles Morrison, Darryl Koszman, Jody Peters, and Jeffrey took centre stage for roughly 10 minutes and performed in front of an audience for the first time since mid-March.
Their original spring plans included other fundraisers, the Halifax Comedy Festival, comedy club bookings and filming a tv pilot.
With no comedy clubs open, they decided to look for alternative ways to perform and settled on having a backyard comedy show. an idea they attributed to Edmonton-based comedian Lars Callieou.
All four comedians agreed it was a great excuse to get out of the house for an evening of valued entertainment.
Andrea Olfert booked the event with the help of her parents, who made sure the 26 family members in attendance were spaced out and following social distancing rules.
“(My) dad (Glenn) was out measuring distance out here so everyone is comfortable and safe,” said Olfert.
“I think it’s going to be really fun and I think it’s a nice change for everybody.”
It was a way to raise some funds for the Canadian Associaton for Stand up Comedians (CASC).
“They are raising money for an emergency fund for comedians that are out of work right now that are full time,” said Morrison.
“Now suddenly they don’t have any gigs.”
The free event not only was a chance to share some laughs, but it also brought attendees together.
“I haven’t seen the family in a long time even before the pandemic hit,” said audience member Wade Peters.
“So it’s really nice to see everybody again.”
Peters added he wasn’t holding any laughs back.
The event was planned about a month ago. People have been in contact with Olfert because they want to host their own show. Morrison adds this show is not a one-off this summer.
“We’ve got a few of these booked for the summer. That’s just the reality of the situation,” said Morrison.
“We will do as many as we can. Raise as much money as we can this summer.”
Morrison says the couple hundred dollars that were raised pushed the total to over $30,000 for comedians facing hard times because of COVID-19.
He says anyone who wants to donate can do so on the CASC website.
Anyone interested in booking their own show can contact Myles on his website.