Sarah Silverman just for laughs

Sarah Silverman Sings her Potty Mouth at Just For Laughs Gala

Sarah Silverman just didn't do it for me. Her hosting the Toronto Just For Laughs Festival gala Friday night at Massey Hall fell flat, relying on mostly lowbrow potty humour throughout the first of two shows that night (I know that some people love this style, but it's not really for me).

The rest of the comedians followed suit, providing more guffaws on topics such as pussy, rape, pedophilia, marijuana and the occasional jab about our garbage strike, rarely tickling my funny bone.

The night was dubbed Sarah Silverman and Friends, featuring Louis C.K., Arj Barker and Tod Glass. None of Silverman's material was very memorable - unless you count the five minute song where she used the word cunt in rapid succession in a refrain that lasted five minutes too long.

I jumped at the chance to see this night of comedy when I scored a ticket to the sold-out show just hours before it started. When I got to the theatre, there was a buzz in the air. The audience was eager to be entertained.

I took advantage of now being able to bring alcoholic drinks (from the venue's bar in the basement) to our seats at Massey Hall. But perhaps I should've brought something a little stronger than the pint of Hockley Stout, which had me needing to quickly rush off to the loo in between acts, so as not to miss a beat (there was no intermission).

We were greeted by loud music from a live band that played on stage along to the voice of a pre-recorded singer, making me wonder why they couldn't find a live singer. Bright, colourful searchlight-like lights shone in our faces from the huge backdrop. The stage was set.

We were soon instructed by a booming voice-over where the emergency exits were, as if we were about to embark on a fun airplane ride. "Stow all your emotional baggage and get ready for the show." But I felt like this show never quite took off.

I anticipated some good LOLs, and was smiling often throughout the show's handful of performers. But I never really got a full-bellied laugh the entire night.

Barker, who's perhaps best known for his appearances in the HBO sitcom Flight of the Conchords, should be credited for his witty bit about Toronto's Shoeseum.

Louis C.K. David Cross's piece about the silly things found in Sky Mall's airplane magazine, such as the Time Mug hit a few funny bones. Although by the end of his set (and the night of comedy) I felt like the entire flight went on too long.

Perhaps my expectations weren't met due to the hype of the comedy line-up. Maybe I needed to get more liquored-up to truly appreciate the brand of humour delivered at this show. Or could it be that stand-up comedians these days are running out of decent, original material? Either way, I left wishing for much more.

Photo: sarah-silverman.com.


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