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Former school halls will be ringing with laughter again

The Brown Cowboy will be riding in to River John with a posse of fellow comedians to keep the community in stitches.

Karan Sidhu and a few funny friends are throwing a comedy show at the former consolidated school on March 13. It is, he hopes, the first of many regular comedy shows in small towns that otherwise wouldn’t have an event like this.

“The response has been incredible thus far and we are planning a second show already,” the comedian said from his home in Prospect, NS.

Sidhu has been making people laugh for the better part of a decade. He is the owner, founder, and CEO of his company, FIFCO which is short for his production company Fifteen Cornwall Productions.

He is also a filmmaker and has a television show coming out this spring on Bell Fibe TV 1 called Road Trip with the Brown Cowboy. “I host that show and we travel the province looking for cool stuff to do.” He filmed an episode at the New Caledonian Curling Club in Pictou and enjoyed a meal at Sharon’s Place restaurant. “Everyone in Pictou was incredible. Everything was amazing. When you hear about Nova Scotia hospitality, that’s exactly what we got in Pictou County. I just fell in love with it. The sights and scenery are breathtaking but it’s really the people that make it.”

Sidhu loves small towns and everything they have to offer. And he wants to do what he does best — comedy — in small communities across the province.

“Nova Scotia is not short of comedic talent. A lot of small towns in Nova Scotia don’t get the opportunity to have comedy shows. So I wanted to bring that to the small towns.”

He decided on River John in early February after filming a pilot episode of a comedy series he wrote there. “The people there were so incredible to us. It was unreal! They’ve quickly become some of my best friends.”

He mentions Nick Bigney who bought the old consolidated school at 2 School Street, as well as his parents Leonard and Shelly and “his lady, Tiffany. They’ve just been so good to me — the whole town has.”

To show his appreciation, he gathered together some funny friends to host the comedy show at the former school, keeping within Covid protocols.

He was so overwhelmed with the response — “we received hundreds and hundreds of comments and not one was negative” – he decided to just keep doing it.

“I want to make it so that comedians in Nova Scotia don’t feel like they have to go to Toronto or Vancouver. I want to start something here where Nova Scotia is the centre of comedy in this country.”

There are still “a few tickets” left for the March 13 show; anyone interested in attending can reserve a ticket for the price of $10 by sending a message to Sidhu at 902-402-0226. If you miss it, he is planning another show in April.

“We have an incredible lineup,” Sidhu promises. In addition to hosting the show and delivering his own routine, Sidhu will welcome Kyle Barnet, a past winner of Moncton Hubcap Comedy Festival’s Open Mic contest; Tal Jewell who he refers to as “an incredible joke writer”; in addition to comedians Albert Coombs and Jim Temple. Featured headliner comedian is Travis Lindsay. “He’s one of the best working comedians in the country,” Sidhu lauds. Lindsay has done spots at the Halifax Comedy Fest and Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and he can currently be enjoyed on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

“He was in our first film we made, a comedy film called The Lot, and I was there for his very first standup gig — he was 15 years old at the time. He is genuinely funny.”

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the show starts at 7:45 p.m.

“This is huge for the community of River John,” notes Sidhu, who is happy to help get activity going at the old school. “That’s why I am not taking any money from the show, I just want it to go to the school. I’ll pay my comedians and give the rest to the school; hopefully we’ll make it the newest event centre in that area.”

Sidhu says hosting the comedy show is his way of giving back. “I want to thank the community for being so amazing to me. Every time I am back in that community as soon as I step out of my vehicle I feel like I am home.”