Laughs with friends

Comedy storytelling event to find the funny in friendship

After all the Valentine's Day chocolates have gone on sale, Wee Johnny’s will host a special open mic celebrating friends. Comedian Angie St. Mars hosts a monthly storytelling comedy event at Wee Johnny’s on the last Saturday of every month.

In October, performers told spooky stories, and in December, comedians talked about their holiday disasters. On Feb. 22, the theme is Palentine’s Day, because, in January, they covered “love, but actually though.” So when it came to the month of love, or rather, the month with a day devoted to love and chocolate, St. Mars decided to feature friendships.

Similar to Galentine’s Day, a day celebrating women’s friendships made popular by mockumentary TV series  Parks and Recreation, Palentine’s Day will celebrate friends of all sorts.

“Whatever kind of pals are welcome,” St. Mars says. “I just thought it would be nice to do a thing about friendship and the love that happens between two friends.”

The show will feature performances from Jesse Bercier, Chad Anderson, Kristen Einarson, Sarah London and Matt Kay. On Feb. 14 itself, Einarsen may need to remind herself of the love between friends.

“This is my first single Valentine’s Day in a number of years, so instead of dealing with that, I just booked myself a flight to New York,” Einarsen says. “I’m going to spend Valentine’s Day in an airport, and then I will come back and do Angie’s show.”

Originally, Einarson was supposed to do a set with friend Sarah Jane Martin, but Martin will be in Taipei. Instead, Einarson will perform with Matt Kay, the most recent winner of Winnipeg’s Funniest Person with a Day Job. Einarson says, “We don’t actually know each other that well. So we’re going to learn about each other onstage, in front of people. What could go wrong?

In the second half of the show, after the comedians have all told their stories, and Einarsen and Kay have played their “get to know your friend game,” audience members will be invited to get up and share their funny friend stories.

St. Mars says “I usually give out some prizes, so I will probably match up some audience members with a new best friend” to compete with other audience members for a prize.

Sometimes, St. Mars says, it’s the audience members who are full of surprises when they get up to share their funny stories. “You’re seeing someone going up (on stage) for the very first time. Sometimes it’s, you know, a catastrophe, but sometimes they are so funny that you’re like, woah, you really have a knack for this. You’re a great storyteller.” Ultimately, Angie says “You don’t have to be a comedian to tell a really funny story ... but it helps.”

Palentine’s Day will be at Wee Johnny’s Pub at 177 McDermot Ave. on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

Published in Volume 74, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 13, 2020)

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