Prince Albert funnyman excited for return to stand-up comedy stage

Photo from the Off the Cuff Improv Facebook page. Comedian Elliott Byers (pictured) will perform at the inaugural Variety Night for Mental Health on Saturday, May 11. Off the Cuff Improv and The Socially Distant will also take the stage.

Elliott Byers hasn’t performed stand-up comedy routine in almost two decades, but after moving back to Saskatchewan that’s something he’s ready to change.

The Carrot River product occasionally hits the stage for theatre productions, but hasn’t performed stand-up for 18 years. He’ll change that on Saturday when he serves as one of three acts for Off the Cuff Improv’s Variety Night for Mental Health.

“It’s been a lot of years, so it’s kind of exciting for me to get back up and start doing it in front of people again,” Byers said during a phone interview on Thursday.

“I love the feeling of getting up front of a large group of people and making them laugh on something I’ve said. That rush when you get that laugh, it’s almost like a drug where it’s like, ‘oh my God, I want to feel that way again. That was so amazing.’”

At one point in his life, Byers performed stand-up comedy three times a week. While living in Vancouver, he won the city’s Funniest Comic with a Day Job competition in 2004.

However, Byers stopped performing and began focusing on his day job after moving to Indiana in 2006. After moving to Prince Albert in 2022 he started getting back into the arts scene, starring in the recent Odyssey Theatre production ‘Dogbarked’, and eventually decided to get back to stand-up comedy.

“PA’s been an extremely good move for me,” he said. “(I) love PA. Can’t say enough good things about PA, and this is coming from a guy who grew up in Carrot River, Sask. and moved to the city when I was in my teenage years.

“I’ve lived down in the States. I’ve lived in Calgary and Vancouver, so moving back to Saskatchewan and up to PA has been a great move.”

Byers’ comedy focuses on a variety of topics. He’ll joke about the difference between rural and urban living, plus a few personal experiences like his dating life.

Despite being away from the stage for so long, he’s not worried about rust.

“Now that I’m older I’m finding that I’m not as nervous when I get up there,” he said. “I’ve still got a few nerves, because a few nerves are good, but it’s more about seeing the enjoyment on other peoples’ faces, and being able to shut their minds off of their worries or their concerns and just laugh.”

Byers will take the stage Saturday along with Off the Cuff Improv and local musical group The Socially Distant, and emcee Ryan Hughes for Prince Albert’s inaugural Variety Night for Mental Health at the Rock Trout Café.

The event will raise money for the Love My Mind Non-Profit Initiative, a group founded in memory of Mark Anderson, a Saskatoon man who took his own life in November 2018. The initiative funds smaller projects focused on suicide prevention, addiction, and other mental health illnesses.

Byers said he’s more than happy to help draw awareness and support to that cause.

“I think mental health is a real issue we need to deal with, especially in men my age,” the 56-year-old said. “We were kind of brought up that we don’t talk about our feelings…, we don’t talk about our problems, we don’t do all that stuff.”

“I think it’s something we need to deal with and from personal experience, I know it helps with me,” he added. “Talking with people about my problems has been a big support and help, and so it’s something I very much believe in and have passion about.”

Doors open for the inaugural Variety Night for Mental Health at 7 p.m. Byers takes the stage at 7:30, with Off the Cuff Improv at 8:15 and The Socially Distant at 9:15. Tickets are $35 at the door, but seating is limited. Tickets are also available on

@kerr_jas •