The Talking Raptors Standup Tour is in full swing as Nick and Barry perform in western Canada. The guys have been doing a series of Laugh Shop and independent shows with the goal of promoting the podcast and connecting with fellow Raptors fans outside of Toronto. The latter has been a bit more challenging than expected. This is definitely a hockey region but the Raptors are Canada’s team, no? The guys sat down to discuss the shows and their search for likeminded fans.
Great Northern Casino – Grande Prairie, Alberta
Barry: We were pretty far north and weren’t expecting many basketball fans but we met a couple. When I brought up Michael Jordan on stage I heard some positive cheers. The Casino’s big screens had an NBA game on too.
When I mentioned that we were from the Talking Raptors podcast there were a lot of blank stares. I tried to ease the awkwardness by asking if there were any Raptors fans in the crowd but that only prolonged the stares. The rest of the show was great though.
Nick: It can be hard to make people laugh after they’ve lost a lot of money on slots. There didn’t seem to be much interest in basketball from the locals.
used to live in northern BC. Been to GP many times. Now live in Victoria. You guys should have came here! Better weather!
— Jesse Lawrence (@J_Law86) March 9, 2017
Laugh Shop – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Nick: The show was fun except for the openly racist woman in the front row. People boo’d when I brought up basketball. They also boo’d for Scarborough. Let’s go Raptors!
Barry: This show happened at the Ramada Inn. The hotel was really nice and the show was fun. The Raptors game that night was on TSN, TSN2 and TSN 4. Our hotel rooms only had TSN 3. Unreal. Life is rough for Raptors fans in Saskatoon.
on behalf of my City, I apologize
— Don Huynh (@DonWong23) March 4, 2017
— Hemant “The Great Isolator” Naidu (@hjnaidu) March 9, 2017
Laugh Shop – Regina, Saskatchewan
Nick: It was nice to be in a real city. They have a downtown with buildings. Probably the drunkest audience on the tour so far. Once again, no one at the show cared about basketball.
Barry: As we drove up to our hotel there was a man out front repeatedly screaming, KILL ME! We didn’t but the struggle is real for Raptors fans in Saskatchewan. We stayed at another Ramada Hotel. The Raptors game was on Sportsnet 1. Our rooms only got Sportsnet West. God hates Saskatchewan.
O’Brynes Irish Pub – Edmonton, Alberta
Barry: The people from Mill Street Beer sponsored a night of food and drink for the comedians which was awesome. We had a great four course meal and some Mill Street.
We also met a comedian who is a hardcore Raptors fan! Ethan Sir works with Basketball Alberta, has a Raptors and Wrestling Podcast and is a great comic. It was fun to chat hoops with someone before the show.
Nick: Shout out to Mill Street. Meeting Ethan was refreshing. It felt good to talk about basketball to another human.
— Henry Sir (@HenrySir33) February 23, 2017
El Comedy at El Cortez – Edmonton, Alberta
Devaney’s Pub – Edmonton, Alberta
Nick: The Raptors game was on at El Cortez which was cool. One of our friends from Edmonton took us to a local strip club after the shows. It was amateur night and we may have seen the receptionist from our hotel on stage but we were pretty drunk. Don’t think she wasn’t a Raptors fan either way.
Barry: Both shows tonight were amazing. If you’re ever in Edmonton check them out. We’ve been here for a couple days now and haven’t found too many Raptors fans. We knew it was a hockey town but good Lord. Nothing? We’ll keep looking. We know they’re out here.
— Anthony DeRossi (@anthony_derossi) March 8, 2017
Underdog Comedy Show – Edmonton, Alberta
Barry: This is one of the best independent comedy shows in Canada. The Old Strathcona part of Edmonton is an amazing area for local arts. It’s not an amazing area for finding Raptors fans. At least for a couple of simpletons like us.
Nick: The game was on at a few bars so it feels like there’s actual basketball fans in the area. We just couldn’t find them. Shout out to the pizza shop next to the Underdog Comedy Show. They have honey as a condiment. It’s amazing.
@TalkingRaptors Hey dudes can't speak for Edmonton, but Calgary has a decent amount of ball fans. The bar Home and Away usually shows games
— Alex Gres (@alexgres10) March 8, 2017
The Talking Raptors Standup Tour and search for Raptors fans continues as the guys perform tonight and tomorrow in Cranbrook, B.C. The final show happens Sunday night at Empress Comedy in Edmonton. If you’re a Raptors fan and in the area, for the love of God stop by. We’d love to hang out, have a drink and compare favourite Chuck Hayes moments.