Onwards, forwards and upwards. I can see the light.

The penultimate day of the festival is here. Doesn’t penultimate somehow sound more grandiose than ultimate? Will tonight be a bigger night than tomorrow? Who knows? More importantly, how was yesterday?

7pm – Mark Forward.

I have nothing but admiration for Mark Forward. Actually, lies. Admiration, respect and no small level of idolatry. He’s hilarious. You know how people throw around the word hilarious as a synonym for amusing? This guy legit fits the dictionary.com criteria. He arouses great merriment. That’s not all he arouses…

Anyway, his style is silly, absurdist and crazily innovative. He somehow brings you on board ridiculous premises then blows your adherence back in your face. He has small skits, prepared audio tags and interjections, dumb improvised songs and clever crowd work. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone make a great case for euthanising 108 year olds, but Forward’s not far off the Mark. Get it? ‘Cause his name is Mark?

I should sleep one of these days.

9pm – Jak Knight & Langston Kerman.

Young guys, very funny. After hearing no buzz, a friend told me to check them out. It was a quiet sub-20 person audience at The Drake Underground and they still rocked the room. An excellent energy and presence that deserved a larger crowd. Two black dudes who both used and skewered toxic masculinity, police brutality and dominant cultural stereotypes. I’ve never before thought about the lack of a male analogue for “titty fucking”. Hearing a bit on blue balls that managed to be self-effacing rather than slut shaming was charming, and the sets blew by. These guys are both gonna be big deals someday. See them now or regret it later.

11pm – Mark Forward and Friends.

After his solo show I couldn’t resist coming back for Forward’s hosting duties. A summer camp based show, it was great to see who would and wouldn’t adhere to the theme. Mark did irreverent bits between sets, involving praying to the dark lord for a period so he wouldn’t have to go swimming and improvised songs. The whole night was pretty loose, but funny as fuck with a roaring crowd. As a crowd we learned of the perils of “horse girls”, the mentality behind gagging blow jobs and why Dirty Dancing was a misadvertised an abortion adventure. Mark Little shut down the room with a sickly funny career analogue and a list of all new rules for heavy drinking. Forward does these themed shows every once in a while. Look out for them around Toronto.

Demitri Martin, Moshe Kasher and the Alt Show with Andy Kindler tonight. We’re almost there, folks.

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