Everyone knows that being a comedian is tougher than it looks, but Montreal comedian/host/mentor Paul Ash is facing more than his share of difficulties, these days. For the third time in its four year history, Ash’s “Kick Ash Comedy Show” is forced to relocate, ousted from its popular Tuesday night location at downtown Andrew’s Pub. What adds salt to the wound is that another comedy show has abruptly taken its place. For a local show that nurtures young talent, one that works hard to establish a regular clientele, the move will be a setback. It means reestablishing the “Kick Ash” brand at the new location, forging relationships with a new proprietor and drawing audiences to an alternate venue – yet again.
Ash describes the last “Kick Ash” show on March 5 as a hit. “We had near 50 patrons, all enthralled in the show ... I was told drink sales were very good. Why would such a benefit to the establishment be so unceremoniously axed?”
On March 8, Ash received a text message from Pierre, the bar’s owner since November 2011, abruptly terminating their relationship, offering little explanation for the decision:
“’Hi. its pierre. i canculed your show in my pub. Cause i hear a lot of bad thing about you. i cant keep you in my place. (sic)’”
The comments hit Ash particularly hard, since he rightfully prides himself on his sterling reputation. “Hearing that there’s a ‘lot of bad things’ being said about me, that I’m the type of person that the owner ‘can’t keep’ in his establishment flabbergasted me.”
On March 18, Ash wrote about his struggle on his web site, in what he describes as "the obituary of a comedy show," entitled, "#KickAshSaves #SaveKickAsh." In his posting, Ash details a "campaign of hate" instigated by an employee of the bar, who now organizes the replacement comedy show.
Since Ash's blog post, many Montreal comedians have offered him their unconditional support, on Facebook and on Twitter, using the hashtag, #SaveKickAsh. Comedians who've posted words of encouragement and solidarity include Dan Derkson, Michael Lifshitz, Eman, Johanne Britton, Leonard Yelle, Mike Gamache and Mo Arora. All are grateful for the stage time, the encouragement, the respectful feedback and most importantly, the friendship they share with funnyman Paul Ash, who is busy cultivating new professional alliances.
The Montreal Comedy Nest presents
2313 Ste. Catherine W. (at Atwater)
April 5, 10:30 p.m
Tickets: $10, Students $6