What goes well with Cuban cuisine you ask? A healthy portion of homegrown comedy!
This week I signed up for the Events andAdventures' 'Comedy Night' at Havana's Restaurant on Commercial Drive. There were lots of laughs before, during and after the show, as the E&A crew made the most of our Monday night.
This was by far the most heavily attended event I had been on. Our group was over twenty, with a wide mix of ages. There were so many of us that two of our group had to eat at the bar.
Ambria was the host, who I had met at the Banana Leaf, my first excursion. Once again, she was super friendly and made sure we were all introduced.
Our group was given the back room of Havana's with two average tables and one long one. I sat with some friends I had made at the Extreme Air night and another guy from Wallyball. Two more members joined us at our table.
The menu was a decent mix of Latin food and western fare. I went with something simple: a seafood linguini. I immediately regretted my decision when the woman across from me received her soft tacos; they looked delicious.
The wine was poured with a heavy hand and by the time dinner was over the volume of the conversations at each table was indicative of how much fun we were all having.
Ambria passed out tickets for each of us, along with a Trivial Pursuit card. The cards, we were told, were a part of the show and would be explained inside. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked two of the other members, who had seen "Graham Clark's Laugh Gallery" at a previous event, what the cards were used for. It turns out they were for a prize giveaway.
To win a prize, Graham had to call your ticket number. You were then instructed to read the host a question from the card. If he successfully answered it, you won a prize pack of retro vintage items.
Audience participation is always cool.
I scanned my question card and decided on asking the TV category question if my number was called. The query and answer were as follows: "Whose memorable TV roles have included T.S. Turner and Bosco Baracus?" The answer of course: "Mr. T."
Around 8:30 we were seated in the small theatre, a separate room at the back of the restaurant. Our group took up about a third of the theatre seats. We were by far the most enthusiastic group there.
Graham Clark introduced the night with a short comedy set and the first prize giveaway. The winner was seated beside our section and she actually gave one of her prizes to a guy from our group who seemed to be keenly interested in one of the memorabilia pieces. A super nice gesture.
As far as the comics were concerned, I thought the night started strong and then lost a little speed with final two comics.
My favourite joke from the evening was from the first entertainer. As Eddie Murphy explains in "Raw," it's never the same retelling a comics joke the next day at the water cooler, but here it goes:
So my new girlfriend and I are having sex. Thank you, no need to applaud. So I've been going to the pharmacy every couple of weeks to buy condoms. Last week I came home from the pharmacy and my roommate met me in the kitchen. He saw my bag and noticed the box of condoms.
"Why are you buying condoms?" he asked, as if he had never heard of unexpected pregnancies, herpes or AIDS.
"For the obvious reasons," I replied.
"You know they give those things away for free at the clinics. They have big bowls of them in the waiting rooms. You can fill your pockets.""Look," I told him, "they may offer free ketchup packets at McDonalds, but you don't see me filling the fridge with them do you."
Best night of the week.
It was also nice to see members that I had already met at previous events. Apart from actively looking for someone to date, I feel that E&A is really expanding my social circle. It's also nice to go to events I never even knew existed. Would definitely go back to the Havana Comedy Nights. Next time I’m going with those soft tacos.