So obviously I haven’t written anything here for a couple months. The long and short of it is I got a job writing for TorontoStandard.com and any other writing I’m doing is for my own comedy so I just don’t have any room in my life for blogging right now. There are a bunch of other great comedy blogs covering the scene now like Comedy Uncovered and Third Beat. Hope you enjoyed the blog. Go see comedy. And follow me on Twitter.
Lousy Smarch weather this ain’t. All the sunshine in the city has boys and girls shedding layers faster than you can recite the Second Amendment: “You have the right to bare arms!” As this new video from Claire Stollery and Katie Uhlmann points out, the warm temperatures also mean that the good lookin’ ladies of Real Professional Duo will no longer have any impediments to getting laid. Spring really is the open season.
Follow Real Professional Duo on Twitter @RealProfesh
Maintaining a friendship is very easy and fun for all ages! Simply follow the instructions included in the box, advance yourself by randomized increments for arbitrary reasons with the goal of beating the other person to an imagined finish line. Hamburger Sandwich show you how it’s done in this handy instructional infomercial. Remember, friendship means never having to say, “SORRY!”
check out more Hamburger Sandwich at HamburgerSandwich.com
There’s a lot going on in the world of Toronto comedy. I can’t always cover it all. I know, bogus. Thankfully, there are other news outlets that occasionally cover the local scene. Here’s a selection of some of the top comedy news stories from the past month.
Get it? Because they took shots at each other on the internet? And that’s called a flame war? Still no? Well you’re an idiot. Do you even have the internet? These guys do. And then they did something on stage. Which is weird, because that’s, like, the opposite of the internet.
Insight Productions announced they have a deal with an unnamed Canadian network for Brown and Forward’s elimination show first unveiled at Pilot Week 2010. You’d guess it would be on the Comedy Network, but the project was conspicuously left off that network’s just announced slate of homegrown development.
A panel of comics you might recognize took to the dais at Comedy Bar this week and put the “Whose Line is it Anyway” star in his place: at the head of the saddest thanksgiving table ever. Self deprecation abounds! Check out this recap from Amanda Brooke Perrin.
TV’s “Captain Dylan Hunt” had the Herculean task of hosting four hilarious shows in one weekend heaped upon him like a pile of garbage. I had my doubts about whether he could pull it off, but by weekend’s end he was Walking Tall 2 out of Comedy Bar like his name was Frank Atwood.
If you’re reading my blog, chances are you probably already know that Mark DeBonis beat out the competition to take home the $25,000 grand prize at Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off on Sunday night. I’m sure it was all over the front page Monday morning. Maybe if something big happened, they would bump it to Tuesday but I doubt it. Nothing interesting ever happens.
A lot of pixels have been spilled about how this was a surprise win and a tight competition, but to me there was no question that DeBonis deserved to win. He was the only comic that exhibited a genuinely original persona and style.
Now before I put my foot in my mouth I should say this: All the competing comics were extremely skilled and funny. Polished material and slick delivery were the order of the day, and deliver they did. It just wasn’t super exciting comedy.
Massimo had explosive energy. Darrin Rose had suave charisma. Eddie Della Siepe had charming likeability. Everybody could make jokes, but nobody could match DeBonis and his unique sensibilities. He broke out of the shell of club comedian and brought unexpected premises to light with ease. All comedians do jokes about relationships, in the broad sense of the word, and so the challenge is to bring a fresh approach to it. Claire Brosseau’s act centered around her cheating ex-boyfriend and despite her well crafted barbs, I found myself exhausted by all the dick jokes I had heard, both during her set and throughout the night (admittedly this was more a symptom of her going last and my server’s inability to serve me a single beer until after the last performance). Ian Peet’s jokes about how he’s glad when other things piss off his wife are old hat. Even Rose and Della Siepe, the apparent favourites to win, stuck to tried and true tropes like “Daddy Issues” and “Dating Troubles.”
(Sidebar General Criticism: I was pretty disappointed by the number of cheap stereotype jokes I heard throughout the night. I’m not opposed to jokes that have “sexist” or “racist” undertones to them so long as they’re intelligent and the payoff is worth it. Alas, more often than not this was not the case.)
DeBonis stood out because he tackled unlikely relationships, like the one between him and a newly-baptized baby or a guy he knew pre-kindergarten. You could always relate to him but at the same time, Mark gives you the feeling that only Mark could have come up with that joke. Not only has he found his voice, but he is using it in a way that will make people remember him. From the simple brilliance of lines like, “If you don’t have dumb friends, then you’re the dumb friend,” to more drawn out ideas, like the one about recording his most used phrases in case he ever loses his voice, these are unmistakably Mark DeBonis jokes. It transcends the everyday comedy audiences are used to.
Mark has that essential ‘it’ quality a comedian needs to truly connect with crowds beyond that one night on stage. And it’s not that the other finalists are incapable of that – some of them are right on the cusp of it – but on Sunday night Mark DeBonis stood out from the competition. And unlike the Canadian Electorate last night, the Laugh Off judges gave the prize to the guy that deserved it.
To see what I mean, tune into Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off when it airs on The Comedy Network sometime in July (airdate to be confirmed). If you can’t wait that long check out this set of Mark’s from AltDot in March
Just in time to face major competition from The Onion Sports Dome, Brendan Halloran of the Sketchersons seems to be launching a sports themed comedy show. I posted that sketch with Jay Onrait last week but I guess this is what the show will actually be like. Maybe it’ll have both? Like a mix? Like a mix of both?
Toronto comedians! Seriously, send me your videos and I’ll post them. You’ll get 10s of views!! email@example.com
What if instead of being a founding father and President, Thomas Jefferson was a famous magician? What if The Raisin Gang made a video out of it? It would probably be this video. Actually, if you almost definitely be this video.
(Yeah, this is my sketch troupe. What, you think this is a conflict of interest or something? You don’t like it? Get used to it, bucko.)
Toronto comedians! Send me a link to your funny videos and I will post them here if they are good. firstname.lastname@example.org