This Week In Comedy: Sketch Comedy Lounge, Corktown Comedy's Open Mic, Carrie Gaetz feat. Wes Zaharuk, and Festival of New Formats
Why waste your hard-earned cash on a gym membership you'll never use? This year, make laughter part of your New Year's Resolution as I speed walk you through the best that Toronto's rich comedy scene has to offer.
MON JAN 2 - SUN JAN 8 / FESTIVAL OF NEW FORMATS / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM, 9PM, 10PM, 11PM / FREE
You're a comedy veteran, and you think you've seen it all. Well, think again. Gary Rideout Jr. and the Comedy Bar are going to, free of charge, put on shows aimed at embedding comedy into formats not typically seen on the centre stage. Always wanted to see someone make fun of those pretentious Ted Talks? If so, use the money you save at the door on a pint (plus tip) and enjoy.
TUES JAN 3 / SKETCH COMEDY LOUNGE / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 9PM / PWYC
If you're like me, the idea of sketch comedy brings back horrible memories of long, drawn-out assemblies with skits entitled, 'Smokers are Jokers' and, 'Waiting Until Marriage Is Rad!' Thankfully, Sketch Comedy Lounge is not your high school production. To get a spot on this stage, Toronto's best sketch troupes face stiff competition and have to impress Morgan Flood, the show's Producer. Look out for, 'Newsdesk with Ron Sparks.' It's host has won five Canadian Comedy Awards.
WED JAN 4 / CORKTOWN COMEDY OPEN MIC SHOW / BETTY'S / 240 KING E / 9:30PM / FREE
This isn't your typical open mic. Corktown Comedy has been producing professional comedy shows across Canada since 2005. That kind of pull has turned this show into a favourite among amateur and professional comedians alike. Last week, Graham Kay and Gilson Lubin - guys that have shared the stage with Dave Chappelle - tried out new material. This week, pay close attention to Monty Scott: his imagination (and anger) will take you places most other comedians can't.
WED JAN 4 - SUN JAN 8 / CARRIE GAETZ (FEAT. WES ZAHARUK) / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-10
The first time I saw Wes on stage, I lamented, 'Oh no...he has props...' Luckily, Wes is no Carrot Top. His performance couples prop comedy with audience interaction, similar to what you might have seen on shows like, 'Who's Line Is It Anyway?' Your headliner, Carrie Gaetz, has been featured on Just For Laughs' Homegrown Comics show and her quick wit has been tested on CBC's, 'The Debaters.'
WED JAN 4 - SUN JAN 8 / CHRISTINA WALKINSHAW / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8PM / $11-20
Sketch comedy not your thing? Monty Scott's imaginative anger not your cup 'o tea? Christina Walkinshaw's brand of comedy might be right up your alley. She won me over with her new joke about the Toronto Maple Leafs. Loved by audiences and comedians alike, the Comedy Network recently recognized her with a special of her very own.
Written by Michael Jagdeo, an up and coming Toronto Comedian, who regularly blogs over here.
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