This Week In Comedy: Laughable at Unlovable, Rap Battlez, Quinnochio, Globehead
In this edition, we take a look at a few talents that are on the cusp of making it big and it serves as a reminder that there's more to Toronto comedy than Yuk Yuk's and Absolute.
MON FEB 18 / LAUGHABLE AT UNLOVABLE / UNLOVABLE / 1415-B DUNDAS W / 9PM / PWYC
Nick Flanagan and Steph Tolev wrestle the title away from ALTdot for "Best Ensemble Cast" this week with a killer line-up of comics. Chris Locke, Bryan O'Gorman, Tim Golden, Tim Gilbert....the list goes on. Over the past few weeks, I've mentioned that I believe Guy Montgomery is one of the best new comedians on the Toronto scene. His material is great, and the act as a whole is made even greater by his ability to make decisions on the fly. For example, I saw him take the stage an hour and a half into Rush Zilla's Laughter Luau.
He went into his first joke and, as usual, proceeded to get laughs. But, for some reason, he wasn't getting the response he wanted. So, instead of continuing with the bit, he deftly switched directions into something he thought would be more engaging, and it worked like a charm. I laughed so hard that I turned to a complete stranger and said, "That guy's the truth." Now, he doesn't have any videos of his stand-up online, but I do have a clip of an outtake video he did when he was applying for a gig at MTV.
FRI FEB 22 / RAP BATTLEZ / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 1030PM / $10
I know, I know...you're a Meek fan, but let's be real: Cassidy would destroy him. How soon we forget Freeway, on his knees, begging for someone to, "...turn the beat on." For the casual rap enthusiast who has no idea what I'm talking about, Rap Battlez is a show which features comedians, well, rap battling. To be honest, when I first heard about the show, I was skeptical about the quality of freestyles that comics could come up with on short notice, but I was dead wrong. Case in point, Joel Buxton (featured) is not only strong, but he's also got it going on. Click play, relax, and take notes.
SAT FEB 23 / QUINNOCHIO / MAPLE LEAF GARDENS / 60 CARLTON / 8PM / $15 ADVANCE $20 DOOR
Sold-out shows at the Hard Rock Cafe, commercials, and a movie appearance opposite the metallic Constable Brown (you'll have to wait till summer to see what I mean) have made Quinn C. Martin quite the attraction. 2013 is going to be even busier, with a tour with Scratch from the Roots and a potential Just For Laughs spot on the horizon. So what does he do next? Switch from doing shows at the comfy, wirelessly mic'd Hard Rock Cafe to the historic Maple Leaf Gardens. If Puff Daddy was behind him, he'd be original harlem shaking, "Can't stop, won't stop, eh eh, eh eh."
The secret to his success is simple: while most artists shun (or suck) at the business side of the game, Quinn's embraced it. And as in business, so it is in comedy: the talented entrepeneur beats the talented employee every time (disclaimer: Quinn's a good friend of mine).
SAT FEB 23 / GLOBEHEAD 2013 SKETCH TOURNAMENT / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM / $12
Theatresports turns 30 (30 years old, kick, stretch, and kick!) and comes to a head this week, with the winner of the prestigious Globehead being awarded Saturday night. Our battles will be appropriately hosted by Nug Nahrgang and Dan Boyer, both masters of the improv in their own right.
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.