This Week In Comedy: Let's Help Comedy Legend Mike Macdonald, ALTdot Comedy Lounge, Obi-Wan Quinnobe, and Jim Colliton feat. Mike Dambra
I remember enjoying Mike Macdonald's stand-up comedy TV special with my entire family when I was a kid--how many comedians can you do that with nowadays? Now that he needs our help, let's give back...
MIKE MACDONALD / CANADIAN COMEDY LEGEND / NEEDS LIVER TRANSPLANT
Mike Macdonald is a Canadian stand-up legend, having performed on David Letterman and Arsenio Hall. Recently, he's been diagnosed with hepatitis C, and comedians across Canada have set up a drive to raise money for his family and help him search for a liver donor with the blood type O Negative. Click here to learn how you can help.
MON MAY 21 / ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 9PM / $5
Mark DeBonis MCs yet another stellar ALTdot card. To be honest, I didn't take a liking to him the first few times I saw his act, but that's changed. He tells jokes as if you were at his house or grabbing a coffee, and that casual nature threw me off. But he had me dying when I saw him live last Tuesday. The observations were sound, the delivery wonderfully conversational, and the rants applause-inducingly good. Moving forward, I'm not going to judge a comedian from what I see them do the first or second time. Sometimes you have to recognize and get comfortable with a unique style before you can really hear the material.
WED MAY 23 / OBI-WAN QUINNOBE / HARD ROCK CAFE / 279 YONGE / 8PM / $20
Typically, a comedian works extremely hard to put together an hour of material. Then, when the hour's up, they spend another 1-3 years (sometimes more) putting together a new hour. Not Quinn. In February, he did an hour and a half, then in April he did a different hour, and on Wednesday he's doing (you guessed it) a completely new hour of material. As an amateur to the stand-up game, it's quite a feat to behold. That said, his ability to produce completely different shows didn't come overnight; Quinn's been in the game for 10 years. Now, there are many comedians on the scene that don't really like Quinn, but it's kind of like Microsoft not liking Apple; it really doesn't matter if your peers don't like you--all that matters is that he has a following that will come to each and every show he puts on. [Disclaimer: Quinn C. Martin is a close friend of mine]
WED MAY 23 - SUN MAY 27 / JIM COLLITON feat. MIKE DAMBRA / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15
Absolute brings a solid combination to the table with Jim and Mike. Jim's the type of comedian that works clean (he's opened for the likes of Brian Regan) yet effective. His tight act has enabled him to play corporate shows as well as the major clubs in the northeast. Mike--well, Mike's from New York. Rochester, New York. Let's just say there will be a noticeable contrast between the two performers. The above clip of Mike should do the trick...
SAT MAY 26 / SIMON KING / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 10PM / $15
HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, Comedy Network Special, an article in the LA Times...sure. Endorsement by Robin Williams?! Wowzers. When you see his act, you'll see why Sir William would give him a pat on the back: Simon just doesn't let up. It's as if his pacing gives him the energy to keep getting stronger and stronger. I love it. His passion demands that you pay attention; take a gander and I think you'll agree.
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.