Crafting a joke takes skill. You need a premise, a perfectly timed delivery and a powerful punch line to round things off.
Although Rafiq “Fiq” Ahmed bombed during his first on-stage performance in 2009, the Maple Ridge comic didn’t give up.
“I’ve always loved making people laugh,” says Ahmed.
“I was never the class clown but people just found me funny.”
A year and half and several attempts later, Ahmed’s confident enough to play to a hometown crowd – the jocks, the prom queens and Haney Public House regulars who may remember him from high school.
Actually, Ahmed confesses, the reason he’s organizing a hometown gig is because he’s tired of driving into Vancouver.
He managed to entice three other stand-up comics into the suburbs, only to find out none has a car so he’ll be playing host as well as chauffeur.
An “observational” comic, Ahmed’s most trusted source of material is wryly commenting on the people and things around a la George Carlin and Louis C.K., who he cites as influences.
“It’s kind of cathartic,” says Ahmed, who has a day job working at a Roger’s cell phone store.
“My store’s going to be closing shortly, so then I will be as broke as every other comic.”
Although he doesn’t stress about hecklers, Ahmed admits he’d like to make sure his first hometown gig draws the laughs. He hopes to turn the comedy night into a monthly event at the Haney.
“I want to impress them – a bit,” he says.
“Luckily the other guys are way funnier than I am. As long as everything goes well, we should be back with another great line-up in October and every month after that until Maple Ridge gets bored with laughing their faces off.”
• Comic Chris James will emcee the first Comedy Night @ The Haney on Wednesay, Sept. 21. Kwasi Thomas headlines the show which will feature also stand-up routines by Sean Emeny and Fiq Ahmed. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance at the Haney Public House on Lougheed Highway, near 222nd Street. If you buy a ticket in advance, get a free drink on the night of the show before 8 p.m.
A greatly talented, energetic, and yet impulsive act. Kwasi Thomas effortlessly converses with the crowd all while remaining engaged with the sporadic environment. With a lot of expertise and experience on stage, Kwasi generally discusses issues such as relationships and politics while easily bringing comfort to such taboo topics as our society’s racial concerns. Kwasi’s passion lies in writing and performing comedy to better understand the society we all encounter.
He has performed at Just for Laughs in Montreal, opened for many other comedians including Joey Elias, Sugar Sammy and John Dore. He is also a regular at Vancouver Yuk Yuks, Comedy Mix and Lafflines.
Chris James is an audience favourite on the Vancouver comedy scene. He is a sharp writer with a unique and often bizarre way of looking at things. Chris used to run his very own weekly comedy night at Industry Bar in Richmond. He is also the writer, creator and star of the revered (and brilliantly titled) “Chris James Show” – which is a produces for the online Vancouver publication “The Dependent”.
Sean Emeny has been doing comedy all around Vancouver for about two years. He participated in the 2010 Global Comedyfest and has been heard on SHORE 104.3FM as well as XM radio. This past summer, he won the Vancouver’s 2011 People’s Champ comedy competition – British Columbia’s largest comedy competition.