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Highlights 2News

Legion hosts Comedy Night

Some good laughs as O’Brien and friends hit Campbell’s Bay

Glen Hartle
Campbell’s Bay Nov. 17, 2023
Local boy Eric O’Brien, from Vinton, came back to his roots and brought some fellow comics with him for the comedy night hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 162, also known as the Pontiac Legion, this past Friday evening.
Mona Woodstock, secretary for the Legion, said “we wanted to try something different,” and big city comedy in small town lights sounds different.
The small building the Legion calls home seats, at most, 50 people and is essentially a walk-in off the street kind of place. There’s a bar at the far end, windows on the sidewalk side sandwiching the main door, a piano, ample community-style seating and commemorative memorabilia on most walls and surfaces. It’s an intimate environment and one that would seem to lend itself well for comedic routines where familiarity is part and parcel of the show.
Enter Eric O’Brien and Friends.
O’Brien is a tall fellow with a jolly disposition and he was clearly in comfortable and familiar territory standing in front of a crowd with a microphone in his hand. He has previously worked at CHIP-FM as a journalist and content creator, has experience in ad work for radio and television and also has experience in podcasts. The fact that the audience was essentially his home turf likely added to his ease. Or did it?
Standing in a casual two-tone hoodie and quilted pull-over puffer vest, he looked at home with his mom, dad and several other family members looking on.
“I don’t usually let anyone I know come to my shows,” he laughed as he got the evening rolling. “However, I now get to embarrass my family.”
With O’Brien were three friends from the city, all comedians with various levels of experience. First up was Jake Daly and, to use O’Brien’s words, his routine was “kind of intense.” That is an understatement. As is the case with comedy, some of his schtick worked and some did not, and the audience of a largely older crowd wasn’t always quite in tune with his – um – intensity.
Next up was Andreas DeChellis, newly testing his comedic chops. His self-deprecating humour and youthful disposition were endearing and, in his own words, he’s still working on things.
After a pause for refreshments, O’Brien once again took the mic and offered some amusing banter before handing the floor to veteran “he’s seriously in the top ten in Ottawa” comedian Jeff Davis. It is here where the show took flight and the audience let loose with their appreciation. Davis is a large man who uses his size as a part of his routine and “accidentally winning a pie-eating contest” was met with enthusiastic laughter. He held court for the remainder of his stint and the Legion came alive.
All in all, O’Brien showed the Legion, family and friends that he has both aspiration and talent, and is surrounded by a fellowship that supports him. For the Legion and its clientele, let’s hope they “try something different” again, because it was good fun this time around and we want more.