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Comedy on purpose 

Ian Black hosts a weekly comedy night Sunday at the Toothy Moose, and no one is there by accident.

click to enlarge MARK SAWATZKY
  • Mark Sawatzky

Unless it's a gaggle of wasted college bros on a pub crawl, I didn't think of "comedy" when I heard "The Toothy Moose." That is, until February, when veteran Halifax comic Ian Black began hosting comedy nights every Sunday in a funky side-room of the Argyle Street dance bar.

"It's been really nice to have a comedian-focused room," Black says. "I had been wanting a room where no one was there by accident." As the former host of a bi-weekly comedy night at Ginger's Tavern (rest in peace), Black jumped on the chance to start a dedicated open-mic space that features the most talented local stand-ups, writers of 22 Minutes and Yuk Yuk's guests.

"It's also a good opportunity for comics like me to create new material each week. And the regulars are great comics who are also constantly writing new material," he says. Both the audience and comedians benefit from a weekly show; the jokes and themes are always fresh.

"I hope it's not too soon but I enjoy how Air Canada tried to downplay smashing an airplane into the runway with the hashtag 'hard landing,'" he offers as an example. Each stupid week in current events brings awesome opportunities for hilarity. Plus, the space is ideal for new comics who need experience performing in a format similar to a comedy club, rather than a bar or pub.

"And the drinks are cheap," he says. "And cover is pay-what-you-can." You had me at drinks.

Goofy Moose Comedy Night
Sundays at 8pm
The Toothy Moose's Massey Sullivan Studio
1661 Argyle Street


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