Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an aspiring Fredericton comedian walks into a bar…
If the bar-in-question is the Wilser’s Room, and the comedian is walking in on the first Thursday of the month, they would be in luck, for they would be stumbling in on the Fredericton United Comedy Collective’s monthly Open Mic.
The recurring series was first hosted by Trevor Muxworthy and the original Fredericton United Comedy Collective (also known by the acronym “FUCC,” which one can only imagine was an entirely accidental coincidence) over six years ago as a way to offer interested New Brunswick comedians the chance to take the stage and show off their funniest material.
Since then, the show has grown to the point where the venue is packed month after month, often with “a lot of comedians coming from out of town and spending their own cash on fuel and gas station hot dogs,” said current host Phil Smith.
“The stand up comedy scene has really blown up in the last few years, not just in New Brunswick, but worldwide, which”—he noted with a wink—“I assume can be directly attributed to the Open Mic night at Wilser’s Room.”
It’s a growth that Smith himself has witnessed first-hand. “Believe it or not, I discovered the comedy scene because my Dad found the FUCC page on Facebook and I just tagged along with him to the show, he said. “Little did I know I’d be hosting it all these years later.”
In doing so, Smith has also been able to watch the growth of new comedic NB talent. “Wilser’s has been a great starter room for New Brunswick’s up and coming comics, many of which have gone on to start their own rooms in Saint John, St. Stephen and beyond.”
While the success of the “first Thursday” Open Mics is an accomplishment in its own right, the Fredericton United Comedy Collective has done much more to spread opportunities for live stand-up comedy in the area.
The collective has brought in headliners from across the country to perform—original member Trevor Muxworthy once even had breakfast with Norm Macdonald after a set at the Fredericton Playhouse—and recently premiered KENLAR Production’s documentary Funny as FUCC at the Silverwave Film Festival. Later this month, they’ll host their very own “FUCC’d Christmas Special” at the Wilser’s Room.
For both performers and audience, the Open Mics are an exciting evening of entertainment.
“It’s a great night out, with a different vibe than your typical rock show or foam party,” said Smith. “And it’s especially fun if YOU are telling jokes and bringing along your friends to watch you crush your set.”
The FUCC Comedy Open Mic nights are held the first Thursday of every month at the Wilser’s Room. The next installment will be Dec. 7.