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Vancouver ComedyFest a hot ticket, but it's a tough room

Kristen Schaal, of Flight of the Conchords and The Daily Show, will be appearing at the 11-night comedy festival. Kristen Schaal

Vancouver might be one of the most livable cities, but apparently among comics, it's not the easiest place to get a laugh.

"Vancouver crowds are smart, they're sophisticated, and they don't laugh at everything. You can tell a joke in Winnipeg or Edmonton or Toronto and it kills, and here it's crickets," says Vancouver ComedyFest artistic director Will Davis. "But once they're hooked and they love it, they really love it."

Still, there likely won't be any crickets at ComedyFest, which features top laugh makers from the mainstream and alternative comedy worlds, including SCTV legend Martin Short, podcast phenom Marc Maron, and rabble-rouser Margaret Cho, who tackles the topic of maternal figures in queer culture in her edgy show MOTHER.

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Also on board for the 11-night fest are Canadian comedy star Jon Dore, alt hero Reggie Watts, Kristen Schaal from Flight of the Conchords and The Daily Show and Tig Notaro, who last year survived breast cancer, pneumonia, the death of her mother and a relationship breakup, and turned her experience into a comedy podcast that was hailed as "instantly legendary."

Tomorrow's stars are also in the mix, including 18-year-old Sophie Buddle, whom Mr. Davis discovered when a meeting with a comedy club owner got interrupted by peals of laughter from the crowd. She's performing alongside Full House star Bob Saget, who is bringing his racy show, My Nasty Valentine.

"Bob Saget is a filthy, filthy man," says Mr. Davis with a laugh, before revealing another secret about Vancouver comedy fans. "It's funny. I'll ask the nicest, most polite people what show they want tickets for, and they always go for the naughty show."

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