A new comedy club is opening at the Lower Ossington Theatre this weekend
By Brianne Hogan
There’s a new comedy club in town called The LOT Stand Up Comedy Club, and it has a red velvet curtain behind the elevated stage and tiny round lightbulbs all around it. “That was the selling point for me,” says comedian Mark DeBonis. “When I saw that [stage], I thought, ‘This is where we’ve gotta do [a comedy club].’ I had never seen anything like that before in Toronto.”
The comedy club is located in the cabaret room of the Lower Ossington Theatre. DeBonis was doing a North by Northeast show for Comedy Records there this past June when he was taken with the space, most particularly that stage.
“When I saw the place, I thought, ‘We have to continue this.’ It was one of those gut things that said, ‘it has to be done here.’”
Though the space itself is owned by the Lower Ossington Theatre, DeBonis runs the 120-seat club Friday to Sunday, along with comedian Garrett Jamieson. Friday and Saturday nights are reserved strictly for stand-up, running like “a New York-style comedy club, where the host does 15 minutes at the beginning and introduces each act, and the headliner has 25 minutes.”
Sundays will be reserved for tapings of comedian Jeff Leeson’s Leeson’s Laugh Lounge, a comedy talk/variety show.
The club’s opening night on Saturday will be “a buffet of what we’re doing,” says DeBonis. Comedian Ryan Belleville will headline, and both DeBonis and Jamieson will have a spot, along with Barry Taylor from Comedy Records, among others.
“We’re not looking to knock down other comedy clubs,” says DeBonis. “All we’re doing is that we’re creating a comedy scene in Toronto so people know what’s going on here.”
The LOT Stand Up Comedy Club, 100 Ossington Ave., 416-915-6747. @LOTcomedy