Seymour Mace talks about performing at the Burning Duck Comedy Club,
York’s new ‘alternative’ comedy solution.

While the term ‘alternative comedy’ has largely become meaningless, there presently exists an expanding loose conglomeration of performers and promoters who are writing and performing material that might be considered too silly, experimental or highbrow to be booked by many of the more ‘mainstream’ weekend comedy clubs.
(Or at least have more than one of them on a bill)

This could typically be either in the niche subject matter they deal with, or the manner in which they deliver it which might require more concentration, such as through storytelling, poetry, musical comedy, sketch comedy, character comedy etc.

We are inspired and work regularly with other regional ‘alternative’ nights like Newcastle’s “Silly BIllies“, Sheffields “Infowow“, “Regather” & “Square Hole”, Liverpools “Matchbox Comedy Club”, Leicesters “Club Smashing”, Leeds “Not the Late Show with Ross and Josh”, Middlesbroughs ‘Fiasco’ and Manchesters Quippopotamus, Group Therapy, Sidekick & Sham Bodie.

All of whom aspire to provide a sympathetic environment for performers to have the freedom to express themselves without censor. Performers such as 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Fosters Best Show award winner John Kearns, who developed his unique Shtick through his regular performances at Weirdos Comedy Club, a night described by Time Out as ‘always brilliantly bizarre and tons of fun’ who very much defines our approach.

John Kearns

Weirdos motto is ‘Acts are encouraged to perform material that’s deemed too alternative for most comedy clubs. Audiences are encouraged to open their minds!’ An ethos at the Burning Duck comedy club we are keen to encourage, or as Alan Moore puts it..

‘In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river.  They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment.  They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society.  They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die.  It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants.  If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience.  They would be the artists.  It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.’

Alan Moore

Please direct any performance enquiries to

(And if we don’t get back to you, think about what animal costume would best suit your act to inspire us to book you.)


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