Vancouver Comedy Fest Brings YouTube and Podcasts into the Mix

This year's Comedy Fest marries young and old, analog and digital

Credit: Vancouver Comedy Fest

Garfunkel & Oates performs YouTube hits like “Pregnant Women Are Smug” at the Vancouver Fest

What’s different about this year’s Vancouver Comedy Fest?

Besides the seasonal change – traditionally it’s been held in the fall – VCF 2012 (on now until Feb 25) has caught up with the comedy podcast phenomenon.

Since debuting in 2009, Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, which features in-depth interviews with some of the best-known comics in North America, has made a comedy star out of Maron and almost brought the acerbic comedian into the mainstream.

“Doug Loves Movies” is a little more in-joke-y. Doug Benson riffs with guests like fellow podcaster Paul F. Tompkins (“The Pod F. Tompkast”) about movies and comedy, while “The Leonard Maltin Game” challenges contestants to guess titles based on quotes from the movie reviewer. Both “Doug Loves Movies” and “WTF With Marc Maron” will record before live audiences during the ComedyFest.

This year’s festival isn’t just about the new(ish) kids on the block, however. Carol Burnett and Betty White, two of the most popular television actresses of all time, are both in town to talk about their long and mostly illustrious careers in shows Feb 17 and 18, respectively.

Almost as popular, but skewing to a slightly younger demographic, is Margaret Cho. The Korean-American San Francisco-raised Cho, who brings her Cho Dependent show to the city, is a multi-media force who has parlayed her gay-friendly, Conservative-baiting act into a career that includes movies, comedy albums and even a stint on Dancing With the Stars.

For many, though, the real comic royalty this year is David Cross and Bob Odenkirk. Both have had successful careers as actors (Cross in Arrested Development, Odenkirk in Breaking Bad), but they will always be beloved by alternative comedy fans for their groundbreaking ‘90s TV series Mr. Show. Cross and Odenkirk are the subjects of Maron’s “WTF” grilling Feb 24, and host the Bob & Dave Gala on Feb 25, closing night of the festival.

Vancouver ComedyFest Recommended Highlights

Laugher and Reflection with Carol Burnett – The TV variety show host and comedian fields questions from the audience about her long and illustrious career. (Feb 17 at the Orpheum Theatre)

Garfunkel & Oates with Laff Hole and Guests – The musical comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates performs YouTube hits like “Pregnant Women Are Smug” and “This Party Took a Turn for the Douche.” Guests include Todd Barry, Kevin Hyder, Tristan Devin, and The Entertainment Show. (Feb 17 at the Rio Theatre).

An Evening with Betty White – The spotlight is on the Golden Girls actress in two shows. (Feb 18 at the Centre in Vancouver)

Cho Dependent – Margaret Cho performs her show Cho Dependent, which is named after her 2010 album of musical collaborations. (Feb 19 at the Centre in Vancouver)

Spotlight – Marc Maron – Maron’s WTF taping at the Rio Theatre Feb 24 with David Cross and Bob Odenkirk is sold-out, but there were still tickets as of this writing for his stand-up set. (Feb 23 at the Comedy Mix)

Bob & Dave Gala
– Bob Odenkirk and David Cross host a night that includes guests Tim Heidecker, Chelsea Peretti, Josie Long and more. (Feb 25 at The Centre in Vancouver)