Comedy Toronto

This Week In Comedy: All Black Comedy Show, Live At The Drake, Youtube Comedians, Globehead 2012 Improv Tournament, and CAN vs. USA Comedy Clash

This week in Toronto comedy we've got black comedians, white comedians and YouTube comedians — oh my! Add NAFTA-inspired warfare with an improv tournament, and you'll see why there are plenty of reasons to navigate Toronto's pot-holed roads in search of laughs.

SUN JAN 29 / ALL BLACK COMEDY SHOW / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8:30PM / $20

In the early 90's, BET's Comic View and Def Comedy Jam started featuring all-black comedians. In the same spirit, Kenny Robinson and Mark Breslin created 'Nubian Disciples of Pryor' to feature the best that the great black north had to offer. The show has been immensely popular ever since, with the likes of Dave Chappelle, Will Smith, and DMX dropping by. There are a number of top comedians on Sunday's bill, but Trixx alone is worth the price of admission.

SUNDAY JAN 29 / LIVE AT THE DRAKE: STAND UP SERIES / DRAKE HOTEL / 1150 QUEEN W / 4:30PM & 7:30PM / $10

Word on the street is that Comedy Now! Specials are dead, but don't look so surprised — they've been inserting canned laughter (gasp!) for awhile now. Christophe Davidson is producing this show to fill the void that was left by the early Comedy Now! Specials. The 4:30pm event will feature Arthur Simeon, Hunter Collins, and Bryan O'Gorman. The 7:30pm show features Christophe Davidson, K. Trevor Wilson, and DeAnne Smith. My personal favourite from that list is Bryan O'Gorman. I saw him host an amateur night at Yuk Yuk's a few month's back, and he was able to craft killer material relating to every single comedian's set. Talent like that must not go unnoticed.

TUES JAN 31 / CANADA'S TOP YOUTUBE COMEDIANS / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 8:30PM / PWYC

Sketch Comedy Lounge is heading in a different direction this week, featuring the funniest (as in most popular) videos that Canadians have created in front of a Logitech HD Webcam. Many of the show's talent have upwards of 500k views per video. Now I have to be honest here, I'm not the biggest fan of online Youtube personalities. If a seven-minute video has more than 30 edits and retakes, it starts to seem forced to me...perhaps that makes me a hater. After all, can 500k views be wrong? Check out FlLuffeeTalks, andypandy311, furiouspete123, jusreign, andywarski and IISuperwomanII and decide for yourself.

THURS FEB 2 - SAT FEB 4 / GLOBEHEAD 2012 IMPROV TOURNAMENT / LOWER OSSINGTON THEATRE (LOT LOUNGE) / 100 OSSINGTON AVE / 8PM / $12 ($10 FOR STUDENTS)

The annual improv tournament comes to a head this week. The semi-finals will occur on Thursday and Friday, with the bulbous statuette being awarded Saturday night. The battles will be appropriately hosted by Jan Caruana and Kerry Griffin, both improv masters in their own right. Regardless of which night you attend, you'll bask in the glory of Canadian Comedy Award winners and faces you'll recognize from TV. Personally, I always look forward to seeing Jan Caruana (featured in the clip above).

SAT FEB 4 / CANADA VS USA COMEDY CLASH / HARBOURFRONT CENTRE (BRIGANTINE ROOM) / 235 QUEENS QUAY W / 7PM / FREE

If you're like me, the word, "clash" conjures up images of David Rodigan, Stone Love, and Kilamanjaro (best name ever, by the way) going chune for chune. Comedians have transposed this idea, pitting set against set. In the red, white, and blue corner we have Sheldon Johnson and Zack Johnson. In the leafy corner you'll see Jay Martin and Trixx. In my opinion, I think the Canadians will take this one. This could be called the value pick of the week, considering that previous Comedy Clashes have cost upwards of $25/head.

About the Author: This is Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third-person. I blog regularly about the bumps and bruises of being a stand-up comedian.

Photo by {RuthMaria} in the blogTO Flickr pool


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