‘Laughter is the most important thing:’ Comedian Chanel Ali is touring Montana for the first time

Comedian Chanel Ali will be at the Thirsty Street Garage on Thursday. 

Courtesy photo

The first time Chanel Ali performed stand-up comedy, she didn’t even plan on getting on stage.

“I just went to an open mic to support a friend who was playing the piano and they had an empty slot,” she remembered. “It was a strange situation where they were charging $20 to go to the show. So once I got there and I realized I was going to commit that much money, I was offended that they had an empty slot, so I was like, ‘Sign me up. I’ll get up there and talk to these people.’”

So she did. And while Ali may have nominally intended to fill the gap in that open mic’s lineup, she had a deeper reason for wanting to get up on that stage.

“It was me trying to answer a question I always had about myself, where I was like, you know, I feel like I am one of these people,” she reflected. “I’m not just a good writer. I’m not just a

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