This Week In Comedy: House of Tsang, Don't Get Bored Of Us And Leave, Adam Richmond, Jamie Lissow feat. Ted Bisaillon, and Throne of Games
There are times when the imported talent steal the spotlight, but not this week. Then again, I would recommend checking out the video of Jamie Lissow getting electrocuted on stage when he...ah, you'll see.
MON MAY 14 / HOUSE OF TSANG / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 730PM / $5
Let's focus in on one of the acts on this card, Ben Miner. I caught his act a few weeks ago and was amazed--with enough time and practice, anyone can put together funny material, but a funny act, on the other hand, is something that requires years and years of practice. Ben took the stage and improvised a few jokes based on the act before him--a classic move used by most professionals. Then, he started doing some crowd work with the front row, a ballsy move as one usually wants to get the crowd going before taking chances. After settling into his material, he noticed the awkward running-shoes-and-fancy-socks combination of someone in the front row and said, "Man, if I didn't know what day it was, but saw your socks, I would know it was a Saturday night. You're ready to party!" Everyone was dying, but Ben wasn't done. He went back to his material, and then out of nowhere casually referred back to the dress socks joke, in an improvised callback to a joke that originated from crowd work. Ben Miner, ladies and gentlemen, is a STUD.
TUES MAY 15 / DON'T GET BORED OF US AND LEAVE / The Ossington / 61 OSSINGTON / 9PM / FREE
If I could go to one show over the next seven days, this would be it. David Dineen-Porter and Tom Henry host/produce a powerful show, packed with more talent than should be allowed in two hours. First of all, David is a monster comedian/actor. I saw him close the show last month with an improvised song while he sat comfortably in a female audience member's lap, channelling every single clichéd pop song vocal riff ever recorded. Tom is a perfectly deadpan foil to David's energy, surprising the audience with his consistent, quiet mumbling. His act is more about what he doesn't do...it's something you have to see. Oh, and Kathleen freakin' Phillips is on the show--she's only my favourite actress doing comedic character work in the world. I refuse to believe that someone can do it better than her.
WED MAY 16 / THRONE OF GAMES / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 930PM / $12
Game of Thrones? Good. Improv comedy? Good. Out of this world ensemble cast? Fantastic. If you haven't seen the wildly popular Games of Thrones show from HBO, you've probably been living behind the wall for far too long. And if you haven't seen Nug Nahrgang, Kris Siddiqi, or Rob Norman, you're like Peter Dinklage at a concert; you ain't seen nothin' yet. Do yourself a favour before the show runs its course. Oh, and since there aren't any videos of Throne of Games, you'll just have to imagine how good it is.
WED MAY 16 - SUN MAY 20 / ADAM RICHMOND / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8PM / $11-20
Adam Richmond is living the good life. He's doing sets at California's best clubs--from The Laugh Factory and Comedy Store to the Ice House--not to mention entertaining troops around the world and doing a feature at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival; and that's just his stand-up resume. Adam's energetic on stage, leveraging his background in sketch, tv, and voice work to vary his act from doing impressions to storytelling to bragging on his Jewish background.
WED MAY 16 - SUN MAY 22 / JAMIE LISSOW feat. TED BISAILLON / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15
Lissow is the type of comedian that made me want to do comedy in the first place. He's as easygoing on camera as he is on stage. Oh, and he got electrocuted while doing stand-up. I'm so super cereal right now (shout out to the South Park fans!). In fact, I'm going to keep this review short so you can jump to 1:45 of the above clip.
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.