Comedy is experiencing a post-COVID-19 boom. The stand-up night on Nov. 27 at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre was one of the many comedy events hosted in Fredericton since the city started to open up.
Comedy on Charlotte Street featured four East Coast comedians telling jokes on stage to an audience bubbled into groups of two, four and six.
The four comedians at the event were Clifton Cremo, Maggie Estey, Matt Baker and Anthony Bryan.
Courtney Steeves, the host of the show and the executive director of the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, said that comedy is on the “upswing.”
“As COVID came along, we actually were able to still do a lot of events, just capacity at bubbled tables physically distanced apart. We were able to continue to do events throughout the pandemic because I think that’s what people really needed during this wacky time,” said Steeves.
Steeves said that comedy was good for the public’s mental health throughout the pandemic.
“Sometimes, even though [the pandemic] is obviously very serious and sad, you have to find humour in tragedy. It’s a lot of what comedy is about — taking uncomfortable situations and trying to find the light and humour in them,” she said.
Anthony Bryan is a Fredericton-based comedian. He graduated from St. Thomas University in 2018 but began doing comedy in 2017. He took time during the pandemic to rest and try to make his comedy feel more personal.
“In terms of the pandemic, I gave myself the opportunity to slow down and actually watch my old comedy and think about it. I’ve taken a lot of time to try to slow everything down a little bit. I really tried to emphasize making a lot of jokes more personal,” said Bryan.
Matt Baker was one of the comedians who performed at the event.
“[My comedy is] an escape from negative stuff you might not want to have to think about for a minute … it’s just silly and goofy stuff. I’m not trying to send a message with any of my comedy, that’s for sure,” said Baker.
Baker said although there’s been a rise in online comedy sketches, he encourages audiences to attend comedy shows in person.
“I’ve never felt bad for laughing, so do it with all your friends in a room and you don’t even have to look at your phone. It’s easy,” he said.