Article by Victoria Ahearm, Toronto Sun
It’s an age-old pairing that’s sparked a subgenre of films, shows and standup acts: cannabis and comedy.
“You just have to watch a Cheech and Chong movie to know that cannabis makes you susceptible to laughter,” says Mark Breslin, founder of Yuk Yuk’s comedy clubs in Canada.
Yet stoned audiences are often the toughest to make laugh, say standup comics, who note that what high crowds lack in audible appreciation they make up for in friendly feedback and less heckling than drinking audiences.
“They might not laugh at you the entire show but after they’ll stop you outside and be like, ‘Dude, that was the best show,”‘ says comic Mike Rita, host of the Stoner Sundays comedy showcase at Vapor Central in Toronto.
“I’m like, ‘But you didn’t laugh.’ They’re like: ‘You don’t have to laugh — you’ve just got to feel it, man.”‘
Vapor Central is among several “4/20-friendly” Canadian comedy clubs that have been catering to medical marijuana users for several years now and are bracing for a possible influx of patrons or bylaw changes when Canada legalizes recreational cannabis use in October.
“It’s one of the most forgiving audiences, just because they’re down to have fun,” says comedian Andrew Packer, who runs the Jokes N Tokes comedy showcase at the Underground Cafe and Social Club in Toronto, where cannabis use is allowed inside.