Nanaimo comedian Peter Hudson has started a twice-monthly comedy series to support a local venue and give comics a place to ply their trade.
Hudson said Nanaimo’s Queen’s Hotel has been seeing fewer musical acts take to the stage due to COVID-19, and he’s stepped in to fill those quiet evenings with comedy.
“We need to laugh right now,” Hudson said. “The world is crazy. People are dealing with not having their jobs, people are dealing with health. We need to laugh.”
Before the pandemic Hudson was bringing his comedy shows to the Queen’s usually once a month. Starting this month, Hudson’s shows are happening every two weeks and he said comics are welcoming the chance to return to the stage.
“Lots of people haven’t been on stage for a long time, five months some people, so it’s great to get them all. But then some people have worked really hard these last five months … and those are the people that are grinding,” Hudson said. “I’ve done the grind. I used to drive to Victoria on my own gas money just to get three to five minutes of comedy when I first started, so when I see other people grinding it makes me want to help them more.”
Hudson presents Covid Safe Comedy, an evening of jokes by local comics headlined by Bryan O’Gorman, a veteran of Toronto’s comedy scene, Saturday, Oct. 3. Later this month, on Oct. 24, Covid Safe Comedy 2 will be headlined by Vancouver-based comic Chris Griffin.
Among the COVID-19 safety measures at the Queen’s are new cleaning and sanitation protocols, a limit of 50 tickets sold in advance at each event and spaced-out assigned seating.
“My goal, I just want to keep comedy going, of course,” Hudson said. “I love standup comedy and … I’ve been doing it for about 10 years. I’ve worked my butt off and I helped create a scene here.”
Another goal of Hudson’s is to be the first Nanaimoite to record a comedy album, which he plans to do at the Queen’s on Nov. 28 “if we’re still allowed.” Hudson said the album will include material from the past decade as well as some newer jokes. He said it’s “the next step.”
“I just want to show my daughter it doesn’t matter what you do, you could be a juggler, astrophysics, whatever you want to do you just do well at it,” he said. “Do anything you want, just shoot for the stars.”
WHAT’S ON … Covid Safe Comedy featuring Bryan O’Gorman happens at the Queen’s, 34 Victoria Cres., on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets $20 from Peter Hudson on Facebook.