Comedy Toronto

This Week in Comedy: Sketchersons' SNL feat. Andy Kindler, Andrew Johnston, Laughable, Jim McNally feat. Jeff Leeson, and Superstars of Comedy

This week's line-up will make you want to be in two places at once. From the casual brilliance of Jeff Leeson to the captivating stage presence of James Hartnett, Toronto's comedians will give you a reason to brave the cold.

SUN JAN 22 / THE REALIST SHIT I EVER WROTE / ZION LOUNGE / 191 PARLIAMENT / 8PM / $10 ($5 FOR STUDENTS)

This show is stacked with talent, many of whom could easily headline their own show. Jean Paul, the Toronto comedy legend featured in the above clip, will be in attendance. The poster claims that the comedians will perform material that they typically censor out of their acts, which is a scary thought considering Kathleen McGee is on the bill. She's on fire right now, and if you don't know, now you know.

SUN JAN 22 / SKETCHERSONS' SNL / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 9PM / $12

Since winning the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Sketch Troupe, the Sketchersons have been on a roll. Their weekly show, S[unday]NL, is the flagship production for the Comedy Bar. Recently, the female contingent of the group were added to the, 'Women in Comedy' festival in Boston. Andy Kindler will be your host with Will Whitwam as your musical guest.

MON JAN 23 / ANDREW JOHNSTON feat. PETE ZEDLACHER / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 9PM / PWYC

Andrew Johnston (Muchmusic's Love Court, Video on Trial) headlines this week. Pay close attention to Pete Zedlacher (Just For Laughs, Off The Record), who recently came back from a tour entertaining our troops in Afghanistan. My Twitter feed has been burning up in the past week with professional comedians reporting that his new material is KILLING. Find out for yourself!

MON JAN 23 / LAUGHABLE / UNLOVABLE / 1415-B DUNDAS W / 9PM / PWYC

I try to keep TWIC to 5 shows, but Nick Flanagan's Laughable is bringing too much heat to be denied. Jason Rouse is, um, wow (watch the clip). T.O. faves like DJ Demers, Amanda Brooke Perrin, and Adrian Sawyers will grace the stage as well. My personal favourite on this ticket is James Hartnett. His performances are closer to a one-man sketch monologue as opposed to your standard stand-up, and that's a good thing. If he starts his set with an English accent, put down your drinks.

WED JAN 25 - SAT JAN 28 / JIM McNALLY feat. JEFF LEESON / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15

Jim McNally (CBC, Comedy Network, CTV) leads the charge at Absolute Comedy, but it would be a crime not to mention your host, the casually brilliant Jeff Leeson. The first time I saw him on stage, I was amazed. He began his set by joking with the bartender, then with another comedian, and then weaved both parties into his prepared material as easily as he might order a drink. To top it all off, he ended the set like he was concluding an essay, recapping the main jokes gleaned from said barkeep/audience member...all with a beer in his hand. They should charge double when Jeff is in town.

SAT JAN 28 / SUPERSTARS OF COMEDY / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 930PM / $10 ADV $12 DOOR

This is the show that led to, 'Stars of Comedy' becoming insolvent. But can it really live up to its lofty moniker? Dave Merheje, the 2011 JFL Homegrown winner, headlines (let me know if he stops to take a breath). Alex Pavone and Steph Tolev will also shine brightly this evening. A special warning to all hecklers: keep schtum during Pat MacDonald's set. His icy stare and quick wit will leave you dumbfounded and embarrassed. I don't think you're ready for his jelly (Beyonce reference courtesy of Myles Morrison).


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