This Week in Comedy: Two And A Half Quinn, ALTdot Comedy Lounge, David Acer, Gilbert Gottfried, East End Comedy Revue, The Sklar Brothers
What does an act that left Yuk Yuk's on bad terms look like? What about a comedian who was one of the first to do 9/11 humor? I hope you're ready for this jelly, Toronto...
SUN FEB 19 / TWO AND A HALF QUINN / HARD ROCK CAFE / 279 YONGE / 8PM / $20
Controversy seems to follow Quinn C. Martin around. Recently, his sense of humour got him banned from NBL Canada. He even got into a disagreement at Olde Stone Cottage Pub in Scarborough last week. Has he allowed that to stop him? Nope. Regardless of what anyone thinks, he's developed a loyal following that could care less what other people say. You're talking about a guy that's opened for the likes of the late Patrice O'Neil at Just For Laughs, has two shows on RogersTV, and sang Method Man's verse on stage when Ghostface Killa came to town. Enough said. Disclaimer: I'm doing a five-minute set at this show, which makes me completely biased.
MON FEB 20 / ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 8:30PM / PWYC
There's a line-up of other comedians on this bill, but I'm compelled to focus on one of them in particular. The first time that I saw Myles Morrison was when he headlined Yuk Yuk's Amateur Night (dreams are dashed every Tuesday at 224 Richmond W). That night, 13 comedians performed, which is a lot of comedians to see in one night, regardless of their talent. Myles went up last, took the mic, and proceeded to KILL. Soon after, I found him on Twitter and realized that he's the funniest comedian that I follow, bar none. Don't believe me? Peep this Tweet of the Year candidate: Right before I orgasm I say, "I don't think you're ready for this jelly."
WED FEB 22 - SUN FEB 29 / DAVID ACER feat. JASON BLANCHARD / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-10
This week, it seems that we have a ton of comedians whose acts have taken them around the world. Blanchard has proven that he can hold his own on a cruise ship, corporate gig, and even in Kandahar entertaining our troops â now that's what I call versatility. You might see some amateur comedians flocking around him at the show, and that's because he was the creator of the 2011 comedy competition, 'Stand Up And Bite Me.' Not to be outdone, David Acer has appeared on CBC, Sky One, Discovery Channel, CTV...you get the picture.
THURS FEB 23 - SAT FEB 25 / GILBERT GOTTFRIED / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8PM / $38
A lot of young whippersnappers might wonder why it costs $38/head to see Gilbert Gottfried. But he's done it all, from playing a corpse in an SNL sketch to doing character work on Ren & Stimpy. If you have a light stomach, beware: Gottfried was one of the first comedians to perform 9/11 and Japanese tsunami jokes; one can only imagine what his stand-up act is like. If you can handle Gilbert's boisterous delivery, his material is top notch...but you do have to be able to stomach his delivery. This is not for everyone, but his fans wouldn't have him any other way.
SAT FEB 25 / EAST END COMEDY REVUE feat. SANDRA SHAMAS / DOMINION ON QUEEN / 500 QUEEN E / 8PM / $25
Wowzers. Gemini for Best Performance in Comedy? Check. Nominated for a Governor General's Award? Check. Best Theatre Award at the US Comedy Arts Festival? Check. Sandra Shamas has been racking up accolades since the 80's. Don't sleep on Ian Sirota, though. I caught his seven-minute set a month ago and was absolutely stunned at how carefully thought out his performance was. When I went home, I realized that Ian had shared the stage with the likes of Norm Macdonald â double wowzers. Anyone thinking about getting into comedy needs to line up, sit down, shut up, and learn from the best.
SAT FEB 25 / THE SKLAR BROTHERS / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM / $20
I have to admit that I winced when I heard the phrase, "Comedy Duo." However, the Sklar Brothers appeared in an episode of Larry freakin' David's, Curb Your Enthusiasm. If that's not enough, they've also had a show on ESPN Classic called, Cheap Seats. You've got to hand it to them: they have great chemistry on stage. In the above ciip, I was fascinated by the way they fed off of each other's energy and ideas. Love them or hate them, one thing's for sure: there's not going to be any show like this in Toronto for a long time.
About the Author: This is Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third-person. I blog regularly about trials and tribulations of passing the just noticeable difference threshold in Toronto's comedy scene.
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