This Week In Comedy: Doug Funk feat. Denis Grignon, Comic Vision: Last Call, Aziz Ansari, and Premium Comedy feat. Kris Bonaparte
If the Euro Cup and subsequent Facebook status updates have taught us anything, it's that love for a country binds people together almost as effectively as hatred does. Follow me as I walk you through comedic events aimed at bringing people together...
WED JULY 4 - SUN JULY 8 / DOUG FUNK feat. DENIS GRIGNON / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15
What's disarming about Doug Funk's performance is that he's able to be himself on stage, and is unafraid to hold back when making fun of himself. His skill has landed him on the Comedy Network, CBC, and, well, Air Bud. He's joined by Denis Grignon, a comic who prides himself on his ability to work clean.
THURS JULY 5 / COMIC VISION: LAST CALL / STEAM WHISTLE BREWERY / 255 BREMNER / 7PM / $75
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is putting on a fundraiser that includes comedy powerhouses like Pete Zedlacher and Debra Digiovanni. The first time I saw Pete kill was at Jo-Anna Downey's show at Spirits. For the next week, almost every comedian that I was following on Twitter reiterated those sentiments. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but it's very rare to hear comedians broadcasting praise about fellow comics. Rounding out the line-up is Julie Kim, who was just nominated for a 2012 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Stand-Up Newcomer. The event will include live and silent auctions as well as a DJ to cap off the evening.
FRI JULY 6 / AZIZ ANSARI / SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS / 1 FRONT E / 730 & 10PM / $42-50
In 2005, he was put on Rolling Stone's Hot List for stand-up comedians. The next year, he won the Jury Award for Best Stand-up at HBO's US Comedy Arts Festival. Then, he spent a few years on MTV'S Human Giant. Things got even better when NBC came calling with the show Parks and Recreation...you get the idea. This guy's on a roll right now.
FRI JULY 6 / PREMIUM COMEDY STARRING KRIS BONAPARTE / GROTTO LOUNGE / 647 COLLEGE / 8PM / $10
Kris Bonaparte headlines Premium Comedy, and he brings a solid cast with him for the ride (see last week's column for details about Kris' chicken wing set). I'd recommed paying special attention to Amber Harper-Young. I saw her do a magical set the other week at Blair Streeter's Naughty Nads Comedy Competition. Her material was killer, but what stood out to me was her free spirit on stage. At one point in her set, she started kicking the air repeatedly, at first to chuckles, then to applause breaks. She even kicked the mic stand, which wobbled but didn't go down. It was truly remarkable to see someone be completely at home under the bright lights.
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.