On September 19, Erinn White and Suzie Taka kicked off ‘LOL,’ a new monthly comedy show at B@THEMUSEUM downtown Kitchener.

‘LOL’ (Ladies and LGBTQ2+ Out Loud) builds on White’s Guelph show ‘That Time of the Month,’ which she produces with comedian Natalie Norman and Guelph’s comedy hub ‘The Making-Box.’

White began performing stand-up comedy with a desire to overcome her fear of public speaking but made it her home because of comedy’s “incredible power to build community, create entertainment, and amplify social commentary.”

Although new to performing stand-up, Taka has years of experience producing Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival in KW, which helped her tell others’ stories locally. Taka views comedy as a way to talk simultaneously about the personal and the political. Comedy has also given her the opportunity to explore her own voice.

The only rule ‘LOL’s’ featured comedians must follow is that they tell no rape jokes.

“The world is absurd and severe enough as it is that we just don’t have time for lazy jokes that make fun of people already facing challenges — it’s not hard to tell jokes that aren’t offensive. So we just don’t,” Taka explains.

‘LOL’ featured White and Taka as co-hosts. They were quick to get laughs from the enthusiastic, sold-out crowd of fifty that filled the trendy space. White’s awkward interactions with waiters at restaurants and Taka’s quirky vision boards endeared the two hosts to the audience.

Guelph comedian Hayley Kellett got things started with a sex-positive set that hit a fun balance between stories about her sex life and stories about her mom. Kellett is an amazing improviser, which shone through in her ability to list stories to the audience and tell the one that got the best reaction.

Next up was Elijah Zimmerman, a new comedian who did his second set ever at this show. White and Taka explained that they want to give newcomers the opportunity to perform on their show as well. Zimmerman seemed to be testing the waters with his first couple jokes but he soon warmed up and had the whole room laughing.

Toronto comedian Preeti Torul’s irreverent and edgy comedy was a hit with the audience. She has a talent for taking heavy topics like abuse and poverty and showing audiences a way to find humour in them even if they haven’t shared her experiences.

Finally, Aisha Brown did an amazing job as the headliner. Brown’s set combined telling jokes with performing funny poems and rap songs. She explored interracial relationships, anxiety, racism and small dicks. Her poetry and rap songs are incredibly fun to listen to since her delivery is in keeping with the styles of those forms but her lyrics are straight-up comedy. If you’re not laughing out loud then it’s only because you’re stunned by how good an entertainer Aisha Brown actually is.

Suffice it to say that ‘LOL’ seems to have successfully filled a gap in the Kitchener market, because the audience and the performers walked away looking really happy.