For a good laugh, head over to the Foxx Lounge Rock Bar and Hotdoggery in downtown Barrie. It’s comedy night every Tuesday. Laffy Taffy Tuesday features a diverse mix of comics and subject matter.
“Tuesday nights – we always do the same thing – we always have a headliner, an established professional comic, a hot up-and-comer or someone who is a veteran comedian and who is a supporter of the show,” said Peter Smith, who frequently hosts the evening. “The lineup always features half local comics. The other half is comics from Toronto who are regularly doing shows in the city. You’re going to see comedians who are pros, comics that are on the brink of making it and some from town who are the local heroes.”
Smith, who is also a comic, teamed up with Shane Sukhu of Cry Wolf Booking and Entertainment and Foxx Lounge owner Shane Heath to launch the comedy night in 2016, starting once a month and, then, moving to weekly. They added a Bomb Shelter Open Mic to encourage local comics to try out new material and rework older bits that may need polishing. It takes place the first Tuesday of the month after the main show.
“We’ve had quite a few people try it for the first time (and) some will continue on,” said Smith. “Some try it only a couple of times, some come out an watch and get a taste for it. That was me a few years ago.”
Now, he hosts at least one Laffy Taffy Tuesday each month and also does stand-up once or twice a month in between. That’s in addition to a full-time job and a family. With two young daughters, age three and one, these days he’s keeping his performing closer to home.
“I want my daughters to grow knowing they can try anything they want to, hockey or whatever they want to pursue,” said Smith, who didn’t start performing until he was in his late teens.
Born in Belleville, he moved to Barrie as a teenager and attended high school at Barrie Central Collegiate. Then, he went to Sheridan College, Brampton, for chemical engineering. He currently has a day job working at a local lab in road construction.
Smith draws on life experiences for his comedy and it’s definitely changed since he had children.
“Once you have kids you change, get more sensitive and emotional about things,” he said, adding that his material includes some humorous parenting experiences with his kids.
Laffy Taffy Tuesday brought comedy scene back to Barrie and has encouraged it to grow with new local comics. This year, they won best out-of-town show at the I Heart Jokes Awards, nominated and voted on by their peers.
The cover is five dollars. The show starts around 8:30 p.m.
Photo: Peter Smith, a Barrie comic and frequent host of Laffy Taffy Tuesday helped start the comedy night in Barrie. Elliott Impact Media photo