First night of JFL42 down, ten more to go. But first, here’s a list of free things (in an arbitrary order) I got from work today:
- A jar of almond/coconut butter.
- A pair of those goofy winter gloves that let you use a cellphone while worn.
- Two small toy guns.
- Several cans of coke.
- A single artisan chocolate.
That’s a good workday in my books. Now, back to our scheduled messages.
Last night began with Joe DeRosa at Comedy Bar. I like Joe, he’s charismatic with great stage presence. Being a fan, I’m also happy to admit when a show was just okay. He seemed a little frazzled. Not bad, but not at his peak either. He mentioned that he’d be filming his Comedy Central special soon. As a late addition to the festival it seemed like he was in the process of working out the shape of said special. The central thesis was around internet entitlement and the lack of progress on either side. Some decent ideas, really, that could’ve done with a little polish. There was an especially great bit about a golf course built upon native land that crushed the room. Later in the set he asked for honest feedback on direction, whether diving into morbid territory helped or hindered the overall arc. One joke ended in a punchline involving the word “tranny”, which DeRosa immediately backed up on. “Oh shit” he remarked “that’s why I stopped doing that joke. Yeah, not gonna use that one.” I hope he works it out and sharpens up his set over the next few shows, ’cause there’s a lot of promise in there.
Next show was down at The Royal Theatre. College Street is a little fucky right now, but my walk from Comedy Bar took me right past Revival, one of the new venues for JFL42. I had no idea it was so close to The Royal, almost equidistant between it and Comedy Bar (friends don’t let friends say C-Bar). Well done, JFL42 folks.
The show I saw was a live recording of the Guys We Fucked podcast. Billed as the anti slut shaming podcast, they still managed to use the “T-word”. Pobody’s nerfect, I guess. Everyone I talked to (not a scientific method) were fans of the podcast who seem to have bought one off tickets. While I’m a big fan of the ticketing system, I’m a bigger fan of seeing the festival succeed. It’s all kinds of rad that it’s attracting fans who might not have attended JFL42 otherwise. Aside from the “T-bomb”, the banter was fun and breezy. The hosts, Corinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson were fun and likeable with a smooth rapport. It’s easy to see why the podcast is so popular. They pulled up an audience member, a crossdressing fella (pronouns he/him) in a fetching black gown and anime-blue wig. Despite the promise of something different, the Q&A kind of fell flat. The special guest was Dana Gould, who was fine, I guess. It seemed like he came to the event with a bunch of pre-written bits, killing the feeling of spontaneity I so love about podcasts.
Last show of the night was the Put Your Hands Together podcast with Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher. Real life wives who run a stand-up showcase podcast, they’re dynamite together and always worth seeing. Guests were Thomas Dale (dropped the third “T-bomb” of the night), Mark Little and Jackie Kashian (shit I hope I didn’t forget anyone). Thomas Dale looks like one to catch, Jackie Kashian has earned her stripes after years in comedy, but delivered a pretty lacklustre set. Mark Little is my favourite Toronto comedian (and one of my favourites overall). He has this brilliant alt-comedy style that ditches obvious punchlines for absurd left field hooks. A member of Picnicface (and as such, one of the minds behind Powerthirst), I’ll never stop praising him. NEVER. Aside from my unending devotion for Mark Little, Cameron and Rhea were fucking brilliant hosts. Also downright adorable. Excellent banter throughout the show, plus I managed to sneak in a callback right near the end (you’ll just have to look out for the recorded version. I’m the Kiwi guy).
One day down. Tonight I’m taking a break to go to a Harry Potter party, but I’m still catching Cameron’s solo show. On that note, leaving now. Until tomorrow!