Sunday Mornings Are for Pancakes & ‘The Hair of the Dog Comedy’

“We’re Very Lucky to Have a Staple Like Rashta [Kruger] in This Community.”

Comic and event host Hayley Garceau takes a moment to transition between sets. Photo Nicholas Dundorf

“Clean comics, dirty comics, men, women, gay, straight—it doesn’t matter. This is one of my favorite shows […], just because it’s so versatile,” said comedian Kayla de Léon about There’s Something Funny Going On.

TSFGO is an eight year running production hosted at the Blue Dog Motel on St. Laurent Blvd.

Rashta Kruger, the show’s producer, recently organized a spin off show called The Hair of the Dog Comedy. The Sunday morning event featured towering bloody marys, bottomless mimosas, and free pancakes.

“Rashta takes care of us,” added de Léon. “We’re very lucky to have a staple like Rashta in this community.”

The event featured a line-up of seven Montreal comics, headlined by Spencer Reid.

Their sets covered everything from the politics of making oral sex jokes in front of senior citizens, to the experience of using Tinder as a person with dwarfism.

For many, doing comedy routines at bar open mics can be an exhausting experience. The Hair of the Dog Comedy show is unique.

“[Issues happen] when the people are there to go to a bar and then a comedy event happens,” said comic Tim Down.

The performers and staff of the show (clockwise from top left): Tim Down, Spencer Reid, Rashta Kruger, Hayley Garceau, Sarah Swinwood, Hasher Ahmed, and Kayla De Leon. Photo Nicholas Dundorf

Down said that bar crowds are often not expecting a comedy show, leading them to be rude or even hostile towards comics. The Blue Dog Motel’s comedy events are an exception, however, as people are really just there to laugh.

Many of the comics said that the Montreal comedy scene lacks multiple distinctly comedy-oriented clubs. In this landscape, Kruger seems to act like a lighthouse in the waters outside of legendary venues such as the Comedy Nest.

Sarah Swinwood is a comedian who has performed at TSFGO since 2014. She speaks highly of Kruger’s contribution to the scene.

“She’s a really hard worker. [Kruger] is a no bullshit type of woman. She doesn’t take shit from anybody, but if she sees talent in you, she’ll put you on,” said Swinwood. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have the confidence I have.”

Kruger, who likened herself to a “mother hen,” is not actually a comedian herself, but is deeply immersed in their world. She loves to produce the show and work with artists like Swinwood.

“There’s very great camaraderie. A lot of people are very supportive of each other […] It’s like a massive family,” said Kruger.

“She’s got a charm, a charisma, she’s fucking funny,” said De Léon. “All the comics who come here to just hang out or watch the show or be on the show—it’s just a nice community feeling. Sometimes the audiences aren’t super huge, but everyone’s still having fun.”

The Blue Dog Motel seems uniquely suited for this long-running event.

“[The Blue Dog Motel] has a kind of weird decor. There’s an eagle on the bar, there’s a Monster Energy Drink logo by the stage, there’s a barber shop in the front,” said Down. “It’s a very weird venue and it’s very interesting […] I think it’s a good introduction to the comedy scene. It feels very Montreal.”

De Léon echoed this sentiment. “It’s a little bit rough around the edges. It’s really organized, but you know we’re in Blue Dog. It adds a little bit of an edge.”

In addition to TSFGO and it’s new, bi-weekly brunch show, Kruger also produces The Sex Show, a variety event featuring open-mic sex stories, burlesque, and comedy acts.

Kruger has dreams of one day owning her own club, but in the meantime is satisfied to gather young and established comics alike on the eccentric stage of the Blue Dog Motel.