After Hours

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The Independent Culture
I love hanging around English pubs. They have an atmosphere we just don't get back in Canada. I like the Duke Of Argyll, 37 Brewer St, London W1 (071-437 6819). My friend Ryan Stiles likes karaoke, so we go there Tuesdays and Thursdays, he sings 'American Pie' and I get drunk. The decor is, well, very pub: lots of tables and chairs, lots of beer. Tsars is a great Russian bar in the Langham Hilton, 1 Portland Place, W1 (071-636 1000). They serve 75 kinds of vodka and there's a Russian accordion player in the corner dressed as a peasant, playing 'New York, New York'. But it's not done out dacha, it's usually full of businessmen. I recommend highly an Italian vodka which is melon flavoured. It's a ritual - it comes in a jug, with a little cone-shaped glass set in a flask of ice, about pounds 4 a go. You wouldn't even know it was alcoholic until the fourth or fifth one. The Zeebra Bar 62 Frith St, W1 (071-437 4018) stays open late, they have live bandsand incredibly beautiful women go there.

In Toronto, you should go to the Rivoli 332 Queen St West (0101-416 596 1908), a club where they have cutting-edge bands and comedy. It's one of those places where everyone's dressed in black, and they've gone for the coffee shop vibe, only without the windows.

In New York I like the Seventies bar Polyester (0101-212 979 1970). It's all lava lamps and Saturday Night Fever on tape, but it makes sense as there's so much Seventies nostalgia in America now - for example the very ordinary TV show called the Brady Bunch has even been transferred to stage in three cities. Santa Monica has a good place, Chez Jay's (0101 310 395 1741). It's a real ordinary bar, very dark with deep booths. People who dress in black in LA drive out to sit where Marlon sat with the drunks.

Colin Mochrie, comedian, appears in 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' on Channel 4

(Photograph omitted)

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