This Week In Comedy: ALTdot Comedy Lounge, Steve Burr feat. Chet Wild, Superstars of Comedy, and Monkey Toast
So Alex walks on stage and proceeds to get heckled by someone knocking from the second floor. How does he respond? Follow me as I show you how a real comedian handles a heckler in This Week In Comedy...
MON MAY 7 / ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 9PM / $5
Like clockwork, ALTdot brings the ruckus with a solid line-up of talent. This week, let's focus on Alex Pavone. About a month ago, I saw him do a set at Anto Chan's Oh Pun Mic at The Central. Now, Alex is a professional comedian, and pro comics typically only go to open mics when they are trying out new material. Before his set, I couldn't help but notice him badly popping and locking to what I can only imagine was Chris Hardwell's Live at the Ultra or Rustie's Essential Mix. Anto announced his name, and Alex stepped up to the mic.
Seconds into his set, there was a knock from someone on the second floor, most likely morsing him to keep it down. How did he respond? By personifying the knocking itself, calling it, 'The toughest heckler I've ever faced.' He improvised the next five minutes by interacting with Knock, which had all of us dying in the back. Now that's what I call a true comedian. (Note: clip does not include his moustache, which warrants an intervention)
WED MAY 9 - SUN MAY 13 / STEVE BURR feat. CHET WILD / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15
Your headliner, Steve Burr, got his start in New York. That's code for, 'Don't heckle him.' He's since gone onto perform the world over, including entertaining the troops in Afghanistan and Japan (I thought they were invading Iran next?). Chet Wild (with the weather) is no slouch himself, having opened for Tom Arnold (in the 90's, most likely) and Patrice O'Neil (RIP). Nerds, come support your fellow countryman. He's lectured in college and is pursing his M. Sc. from the University of New York at Buffalo, their version of the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
SAT MAY 12 / THE SUPERSTARS OF COMEDY / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 10PM / $10
Your headliner is Matt O'Brien, some guy who just won Best Stand Up Comedian at the LA Comedy Fest. Wowzers. But do me a favour and pay attention to Craig Fay's set. He hosted Myq Kaplan's recent stint in Toronto a few weeks ago, and I was really taken aback. His appearance was clean cut, all dress shirt, tie, and cardiganned out. As the evening went on, I noticed that he was firing on all cylinders, casually crushing with crowd work and progressively subversive material (subversive for his dress code, anyways). It was one of those performances when you realize, 'Oh, this guy is genuinely funny.' You don't see that everyday.
SAT MAY 12 / MONKEY TOAST / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM / $10
I hate late night talk shows. They're more like late night monologue shows with, if you're lucky, a moment or two of people actually having a real conversation. Fortunately, Monkey Toast has done away with the idea that you need a pantheon of writers to make a show work. The show consists of three guests interviewed by Ron Tite, who was named one of the Top 10 Creative Canadians by Marketing Magazine. For comedic variety, improvised sketches are injected in between the interviews, drawing their inspiration from the topics discussed. It's unreal. You have a sketch troupe improvising a sketch based on what they hear seconds before they take the stage. Come early, because the last show sold out well before showtime.
About the Author: This is Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third-person. My blog, Diary of a Stand-up Comedian, teaches you how to be - and how not to be - a comedian in Toronto.