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Laugh factory

The Whistler Comedy Showdown returns for three weeks of competitive guffaws



Vancouver comic John Beuhler is stuck in a Toronto Airbnb with a bit of a hipster, and it's not going super well.

"So now he's going to have fun made of him in Whistler. I don't know about this guy — he's always grooming," Beuhler plots.

Beuhler is in Hogtown for a several weekends of shows, but will be returning to the Wet Coast to headline the final of the Whistler Comedy Showdown on April 11 at Buffalo Bills.

Before that there are two Tuesdays, March 28 and April 4, where eight brave and foolhardy stand-ups take to the stage each week to compete for the chance to share the stage with Beuhler that final night.

Six of the 16 will compete in the final.

Tickets for the final are $22 (available online at www.wssf.com), and the first two weeks are $10 at the door, first come first served. The show is 19 and over.

Doors for every night open at 7 p.m.

The competition is part of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, which runs from April 7 to 16.

And does Beuhler remember doing this sort of thing himself?

"Oh yes. It could be terrifying. There were tons of contests. There was one in Washington I did that was a series of shows and we went from place to place. It could be pretty tough," he says.

"And you could be staying in terrible places. Like, where are the gold sheets and the satin chandelier? It's good to be staying in an Airbnb now."

Beuhler has since played some significant gigs, including the Just For Laughs Festival Gala. He won the Corner Gas Comedy Genius Competition in 2006, and has opened for the likes of Zach Galifianakis and Martin Short.

Along with stand-up working, he is also doing a lot of writing, with a collaboration to create an entire filmed stand-up performance that will be shopped around later this year.

It will be a complete and ready-to-screen show.

Comedy Showdown organizer Tara O'Doherty says proceeds raised from ticket sales will go to Whistler's Concussion Support Group, which recently lost funding from the Vancouver Coastal Health Service.

O'Doherty, who has suffered through concussion herself, is determined to help the support group.

"It's incredible how many people want to perform. Every year we find new, fresh blood, and the usual characters who we love having back," O'Doherty says.

Levi McCachen headlines the March 28 show and April 4 is headlined by Kevin Banner.

"The competitors have five minutes to do their comedy gold and the top three go through. Sometimes there might be a surprise wildcard," O'Doherty says.