Skip to content

North Vancouver comedy show is for the dogs, literally

Ticket holders for the Big Dog Energy show are encouraged to bring their canine chums to the brewery
Amy Walsh with retriever friend Miller share a laugh outside North Vancouver’s North Point Brewing. Walsh will be hosting Big Dog Energy, a dog-friendly comedy show May 23, 2024. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News

Maybe you’ve heard about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. But what about comedians with dogs getting beer?

North Vancouver’s North Point Brewing is hosting a comedy night May 23 and specifically inviting people to bring their (ideally well-trained and socialized) dogs with them.

Big Dog Energy producer and comedian Amy Walsh has been running the event in East Vancouver for the last two years, and is now expanding it out around the country.

“I know, it sounds weird, but it works,” she said.

Walsh, a dog lover whose own pups are at home in her native Ireland, started the event for an audience she knows doesn’t get out so much because they are loath to leave their four-leggeds at home alone.

“It just got me thinking. I’m a comedian and I love dogs. Why don’t I try and bring this together?” she said. “People can bring their dogs on their date night, and they don’t have to worry about rushing home.”

For the most part, dogs who attend the comedy nights get excited to see each other at the beginning and then settle down for a snooze, she said.

Much like hecklers, there is the occasional bark from the audience.

“The comedians always handle it well and kind of riff off it,” she said.

People bringing their dogs to the show should be warned, they may find themselves at the business end of a joke or two – especially if the dog arrives in a stroller and is dressed better than their master.

“[Those people] tend to have a good sense of humour about it because, I mean, a dog in a stroller is very funny,” she said, adding the phenomenon was part of the culture shock that came with moving to Vancouver. “When I got here, the way the dogs were treated here just blew my mind… It took a while for me to get used to all the dogs in clothes.”

People have been skeptical of the concept, Walsh admits, but there is something of value in having canines in the crowd. As dog owners well know, just having one with you encourages, or sometimes even forces, interaction with others. That dynamic plays out in the comedy venue, Walsh said.

“You’re playing with dogs, and then there’s a comedy show, and then you can play with dogs again,” she said. “Because there’s dogs, everyone is mingling, everyone’s chatting, and the atmosphere is lovely and it’s just a very fun experience.”

Comics booked for the 19+ show include Amar Singh, Nicole Tanner, Arash Narchi, Ivan Decker and Jane Stanton, who hosts other comedy nights at North Point. The comedians scheduled for the North Vancouver show have been featured on Disney+, Just For Laughs Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, Netflix and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Big Dog Energy runs at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 23.

North Point Brewing, 266 East First St.

Tickets for humans are $17.50 plus fees on Eventbrite. Dogs are free.