This Week In Comedy: All Black Comedy Show, ALTdot Comedy Lounge, Tommy Savitt ft. Toby Muresian, Andy Kindler
From what I can see on Rotten Tomatoes, most of the movies playing right now suck. Thankfully, Toronto's comedy scene is one of the finest in North America. Don't believe me? Follow me as I walk you through This Week In Comedy.
SUN FEB 24 / ALL BLACK COMEDY SHOW / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 830PM / $20
In the early '90s, BET's Comic View and Def Comedy Jam started shows that featured all-black comedians. In the same spirit, Kenny Robinson and Mark Breslin created the, "Nubian Disciples of Pryor" to feature the best that the great black north had to offer. The show is immensely popular, with the likes of Dave Chappelle, Will Smith, and even DMX dropping by when they're in town. In accordance with the HRDC (or because comedians don't write new material on a regular basis), a non-black comedian is included in the mix every week.
MON FEB 25 / ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 9PM / $5
ALTdot delivers another stellar line-up of comedians this week, with multiple acts that could easily headline their own show taking a set. Mark Forward's your host, recently making us proud when he took center mic on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Mark's awesome. The thing I love about him is that he's always hilariously connected with the crowd, even when upset with their lack of engagement. I've seen him berate audiences, all the while keeping them on his side. How does he do that? How do you stay likeable even when making fun of the audience as a whole? I don't know, but it's talent like that which makes Mark a regular at one of Toronto's most fickle rooms.
WED FEB 27 - SUN MAR 3 / TOMMY SAVITT ft. TOBY MURESIANU / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15
Your headliner, Tommy Savitt, won the 2007 Boston Comedy Festival. If that doesn't impress you, consider that comics like Bill Burr, Conan O'Brien, Doug Stanhope, John Pinette, and Louis C.K. have all started in the same crucible. I guess what I'm trying to say is, whatever you do, don't heckle. The comedy scene in Boston is like the US Rangers' tryouts; only the strong survive. His opening act, Toby Muresian, is not to be overlooked. The guy's opened up for Doug freakin' Stanhope and has written for Real Time with Bill Maher. Wowzers. When you see his act, you'll see what happens when comedic talent is mixed with degrees in computer science and psychology from Brown University.
THURS FEB 28 / ANDY KINDLER / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM & 10PM / $20
HBO, Just for Laughs, Daily Show, David Letterman...you get the picture. But what sets Andy apart? Other than the fact that he looks like he could still be living in his parent's basement, it's his experience. Your typical funny comedian will stick to a pattern of crowd greeting, improvisation, then joke 1, joke 2, etc. That's not saying they won't be funny, but just like a pop song has a pattern, so does their routine. Andy breaks convention. He knows his material so well that he can swerve all over the lane with the crowd in tow while he gets a few things off his chest. Watch the clip and you'll see what I mean.
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, walks you through the up's and down's (they're mostly down's, really) in my quest to become a killer comic in Toronto.