The top 10 comedy shows in Toronto for summer 2014
The top comedy shows in Toronto for summer 2014 are a perfect way to kick-start the fun of summer. There are so many great performances set for the coming weeks - and I know you're out there having too much fun in the sunshine to sort them all out. Lucky for you, I've got your back. This list rounds up the biggest local and touring heavy-hitters set to grace Toronto's comedy clubs and theatres.
Here are my picks for 10 hot-ticket comedy shows this summer in Toronto.
Terrific Women - July 1 - The Ossington - PWYC
Let's kick off this top 10 list right proper: A unique show with a lot of ladies! I love it! This is a 70's styled cable access staged show with Elvira Kurt, The Sufferettes, Danz Altvater, and one token bro (Merv Hartlen), hosted by Steph Kaliner and Sara Hennessey. I've seen all these performers first hand, and I can honestly say, I'm jealous. They are all super-babes, and the best part: it's pay what you can. Check out Elvira's "Giggles Comedy Agency" sketch below.
Scott Thompson - July 4 - Underground Cafe - $20
I consider Scott to be one of Toronto's greatest attractions. If you've lived in Toronto your entire life, and you haven't seen him yet, it's about time you take advantage of this comedy gem. He's a true craftsman...a true naughty craftsman. This notorious Kids in The Hall member never ceases to amaze, shock, and awe. If you're looking for a sample, this Conan O'Brien interview is what made me fall in love with him and his comedy.
Perfect 10: Comedians of Commercials - July 5 - Comedy Bar - $10 adv/$15 door
If you've ever wondered "Now, where have I seen that person before..." chances are, it's one of these jokers, and chances are, they were trying to sell you something on TV. This show features Matt O'Brien, Rob Bebenek, Julia Hladkowicz, Keven Soldo, Daniel Woodrow, Dom Pare, and Dave Barclay. These are local working comedians, and they were on TV! What more can you ask for? These guys tell dick jokes, folks! (As you'll see below, Dom Pare does especially well.)
A Nurse's Worst Nightmare - July 6 - Comedy Bar - $10
Zabrina Chevannes has done it yet again, and again, and again. When she's not performing, she's a mother of two; when she's not doing that, she's a nurse. (How does she do it?) This Brampton-based comedian is working out her solo show, based on her extraordinary experiences in life. Watching her do comedy is an inspiration. This show features Sandra Battaglini, Morgan Jones Phillips and host Paul Hutcheson. This show will sell out!
Steve Hofstetter - July 11 - Comedy Bar - $20
Looks like we've got an "out-of-town" New York comedian on our hands. All I can say is: you are so welcome. Hofstetter, started as a college comic, but now he's gone rogue - he's the definition of a "one-two" punch comic. Hecklers beware. You're going to get stomped out.
Mike McDonald - July 12 - Underground Cafe - $20
Whoa. This is serious. After a long battle with illness, Canadian comedy legend Mike McDonald is emerging for one night only. I can't think of anyone else more influential in the Canadian comedy world. He's been on everything, and I mean everything - from Late Night with David Letterman and the Arsenio Hall Show to Just For Laughs. This is worth your time and money...and love.
Todd Barry - July 18 and 19 - Comedy Bar - $20
New York comedy - I can't get enough. I'm sure you recognize Mr. Barry from Louie, and almost every other late night program. If you don't, I can't help you. (Well, actually I can. I slapped a video on this puppy. Just for you.) I've had the fortune to see this dry character in his natural habitat of New York, and if we're in for even a fraction of that show, then I can't lie - I think I have a comedy crush.
Caturday Night Live - July 19 - Paintbox Bistro - $20
If you know anything about the internet, then you know cats. What's better than a comedy show based around cats? I'll tell you: A show where all the proceeds are supporting The Annex Cat Rescue. (That's right: real cats.) This show features Mark Andrada, Rhiannon Archer, Sara Hennessey, Leonard Chan, Julia Hladkowicz, Ashley Moffatt, Ted Morris, host Steven Mann, and other special guests. (The thing below is just a cat video. Enjoy it.)
Carnegie Hall Show Live In Toronto - July 30 - Drake Hotel - $18
I couldn't leave improv out of the mix. This is a critically-acclaimed, award-winning improv troupe - not your average joes that get stuck on a suggestion. The lineup features Second City alumni Matt Baram (CityTV's Seed) and Naomi Snieckus (CBC's Mr. D.) as well as Chris Gibbs (Winnipeg Comedy Festival), Sandy Jobin Bevans (YTV's Life With Boys) and Ron Pederson (FOX's MadTV). Naomi Snieckus is an incredible player, and she's a nice lady!
Throwing Shade - August 10 - Great Hall - $18
It's topical, and it's been touring all across North America. These two, Erin Gibson (aka "Feminasty") and Bryan Safi (aka "Homosensual"), have been working it! This is a live podcast recording of all the things we love the most - namely, gossip, headlines, and shade. You might have seen them on Funny or Die. I want to be their best friends.
Thanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.
Writing by Nola Cooks. Photo via Terrific Women.