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Even though I migrated to the GTA via L’Ottawa circa 2008, every time someone mentions “The Junction” I still can’t help but remember this little gem, courtesy of School House Rock…

Anyways, that’s beside the point. I went a little bit OFF THE RAILS on that one! Oooh, conjunction PUNction.

Speaking of The Junction, every second Friday BILLY WIEGAND (pictured below) has a PUN in the oven, over at the MAGIC OVEN on Keele.

(*host may not appear exactly as shown)


Toronto is a veritable hot pocket (a panzerotti if you will, let’s stick to the pizza metaphors here) of open mics and standup shows across the city. Its the heartbeat of the comedy scene. Upcoming comics like Billy Wiegand (or, his “Copper Coolio” alter ego as seen above) are producing, booking and hosting shows at venues in every recess of Toronto. I’ve seen ’em all. I’ve done ’em all (well, I’ve done ’em mostly all)

Diners, Dives (no Drive-Ins, let’s keep this piece clean & Fieri free) Pubs, Clubs, Cafes, Coffee Shops, Theatre Spaces, Art Lofts, literally people’s living rooms (Toronto comics ANDREW BARR & NIGEL GRINSTEAD hosted one of these at their own apartment last year, also in the Junction)

Like little dick jokes Nucky Thompsons, comics carve out their own corners of turf and cultivate a scene for the greater standup community as a whole. These are the shows where comics of every stripe come out from our respective dank undergrowths and test our material on Toronto crowds in every corner of the city.

Comics coming up are going it the grass-route, starting their own mics. Every second Friday at the MAGIC OVEN, Billy Wiegand is cultivating a lineup of upcoming comedians of his current graduating class. He’s producing the show and making a go of it, while making it his own. His way, his style of hosting (and he finds it more and more every show) With guest comics, and top local crowd killers booked to close the show. Its a taste of the real deal, in a relaxed atmosphere far off the beaten club path. And that’s the way it goes. Club comics in training, touring headliners, festival favorites, network mainstays – we all start in well produced indie rooms just like this. Let the loose meat fall from the bone!

That’s the way of it. The tradition continues. Check out Billy Wiegand’s “JUNCTION COMEDY FRIDAYS” right here!


Dean Young