Church Street’s most diverse comedy night is moving out of the Village, prompted by the sudden closure of lesbian bar Slack’s in June. Laughs at Slack’s was a weekly standup-comedy event produced by Catherine McCormick and her colleagues. Coming just before Toronto Pride, the bar’s closure forced McCormick to do a last-minute search for a venue for her show’s Pride edition. “We got a Facebook message saying, ‘Hey, sorry, Slack’s is closed forever’ . . . so I scrambled and we got the bigger stage at Comedy Bar,” she says.
McCormick has been doing comedy since 2010. She found the scene to be very heterosexual and white-male dominated, so in the summer of 2012 she started the weekly night at Slack’s to provide “a home base to queer and female comics.” She says that apart from the occasional weekend dance party, Laughs at Slack’s was “consistently the busiest night” at the bar.
Post-Pride, McCormick began searching for a more permanent venue and settled on The Steady Café and Bar, a new queer space in the west end. Along with the hot new venue, the event has a new name: Queer as Fuck. It will take place twice-monthly to start, ideally becoming weekly.
The lineup for the inaugural night will feature some of the most popular performers from previous shows: Laura Di Labio, Heidi Brander, Andrew Johnston, Danz Altvater, Adrienne Fish and Avery Edison. There will also be an open-mic lottery whereby attendees can win a chance to try their hand at comedy in front of a live audience.