Toronto Comedy

This Week in Comedy: LOL Humans, Adam Christie, John Hastings feat. Dylan Gott & Garrett Jamieson, Andy Kindler, Things Girls Really Say, and Brendan McKeigan feat. Deanne Smith

This week's line-up of shows is off the chain. From all-female shows to, well, all-male shows, get your drink/laugh on as I walk you through the best Toronto's vibrant comedy scene has to offer.

MON JAN 16 / LOL HUMANS! / SMILING BUDDHA BAR / 961 COLLEGE / 9:30PM / FREE

I understand that buddha makes you laugh, so a comedy show held at the Smiling Buddha Bar must be good, right? DJ Demers is your headliner tonight, and he's always a riot. That said, I want you to play close attention to Ernie Vicente. The first time I saw him perform at an open mic, I knew that he was different from the rest of the up-and-coming comedians in the room. Jerry Seinfeld said he'd perfect a joke by reading it a thousand times, removing one word during each iteration. I get the sense that Ernie's done just that. He employs an economy of motion that even Bruce Lee would appreciate.

WED JAN 18 - SUN JAN 22 / ADAM CHRISTIE / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8PM / $11-20

Adam Christie was one of the first comedians I saw when I decided to embark on a career as a comedian. To this date, I've never seen anyone slowly turn their back on the audience and receive laughter in return. If you're lucky, you'll see him weave in and out of reality in his, 'Xbox for President' bit, which is a personal favourite of mine.

WED JAN 18 - SUN JAN 22 / BRENDAN MCKEIGAN feat. DEANNE SMITH / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15

In keeping with my support for the female talent we have in town, I'm going to highlight Deanne Smith. I like her, 'Tina Fey on the weekend' kind of look. More importantly, she's been on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Comedy Network, CBC, and other impressive places where jokes are told.

FRI JAN 20 / LET'S MAKE 190 DOLLARS / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 10PM / $5

One of the things that separates a professional from an amateur on the comedy scene is one's ability to elicit laughter even when a joke doesn't hit. John Hastings was the first person I saw do this, by comparing a bit that didn't go over well to a premature baby that hadn't fully matured yet (I've cleaned this up considerably). Another mark of a professional comedian is improvisation, which he does at the beginning of a set to engage the audience. He credits Don Rickles as one of his inspirations, who, '...became famous by making fun of the first row.' Get a seat up front, if you dare.

FRI JAN 20 - SAT JAN 21 / ANDY KINDLER / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM & 10:30PM / $20

HBO, Just for Laughs, Daily Show, David Letterman...you get the picture. But what sets Andy apart? Other than the fact that he looks like he could still be living in his parent's basement, it's his experience. Your typical funny comedian will stick to a pattern of crowd greeting, improvisation, then joke 1...joke 2. That's not saying they won't be funny, but just like a pop song has a pattern, so does their routine. Andy breaks convention. He knows his material so well that he can swerve all over the lane with the crowd in tow while he gets a few things off his chest. Watch the above video and you'll see what I mean.

SAT JAN 21 / THINGS GIRLS REALLY SAY / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM / $10

I'm going to keep saying it until these shows are packed to the brims: Toronto's female comedians spit hot fire! Daniella Saioni, your headliner, teaches comedy classes for heaven's sake. Recently, I've seen Camille Cote, Jennifer McAuliffe, Aastha Lal, and Amber Harper-Young, and they all pack serious heat in addition to knowing how to have fun with the crowd. Proceeds from this event go to the Native Women's Resource Center.

Written by Michael Jagdeo, a Toronto Comedian who regularly blogs about the trials and tribulations of being a new stand-up comic over here.


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