Comedy Toronto

This Week in Comedy: That's What SHE Said, Twitter Gong Show, Women's Week Comedy Showcase, Lou Dinos, and Chris Locke's Birthday

It's International Women's Week, and we have a couple of all-female comedy shows that are jam-packed with talent. That said, it's also Chris Locke's birthday, so I don't know which to celebrate first. Help me decide on This Week in Comedy...

MON MAR 5 / THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID / HUGH'S ROOM / 2261 DUNDAS W / 6PM / $30 ADV / $35 DOOR

$30? Damn, son. C'mon, I know that's what you're thinking, but it's for a great cause. All of the proceeds will be going to Gilda's Club of Greater Toronto, whose mission is to, "ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community." That said, you'll have the opportunity to see Kate Davis (Comedy Now) and Sandra Shamas (she won a freakin' Gemini for Pete's sake), as well as a slew of other top female comedians. Oh, and sorry guys, the beautiful and funny Natasha Henderson is taken...at least that's what she told me.

TUES MAR 6 / TWITTER GONG SHOW / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 830PM / $5

Probably the most fun for the audience / nerve-wracking for the comedian show ever, Mark DeBonis' Twitter Gong Show is back (in full effect). Long story short, the audience gets to decide if a comedian can stay on the stage by refraining from gonging them via Twitter. A live Twitter feed is displayed behind the comedian for everyone in the audience to see. Did I mention that the comedian isn't allowed to see the feed? To balance the contrarian keyboard warriors that would gong no matter what was happening on stage, there are 3 experts that can overrule the Twitter massive lest they get restless. As long as the comedian gets a chance to develop their premise, this is going to work out just fine.

TUES MAR 6 / WOMEN'S WEEK COMEDY SHOWCASE / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 730PM / $10

Ladystache. The first time that I saw Steph Tolev (half of the 'stached duo) was at Erin Rodgers' Awkward at the Comedy Bar. I couldn't help but notice how her energy (and coarse voice) demanded everyone's attention. To be honest, I'm always wary of sketch comedy because of the bad memories I have from primary school assemblies, but Steph and Allison Hogg's chemistry on stage is so endearing that it's impossible not to get swept into their world. You can tell they genuinely relish each other's company, and that's why it works. When comedians genuinely love what they're doing and with whom they're doing it with, that's when they shine the brightest.

WED MAR 7 - SUN MAR 11 / LOU DINOS / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8PM / $11-20

When I open up a YouTube video, I can't help but scroll down and read the comments while the video loads (or while the advertisement I've just muted plays). Everyone that commented below the above clip agreed that Lou was hilarious, and they were right. When I watch his videos, I get this feeling that can only be congealed into the phrase, 'old school comedian.' He has a calm, premise punchline tag delivery that reminds me of the way Seinfeld and Maher crafted two-minute sets for their appearances on the Johnny Carson Show. Whatever it is, Lou's awesome. If you don't laugh at 1:19 of the above clip, then you and I may never see eye to eye.

WED MAR 7 / CHRIS LOCKE IS A B-DAY BOY / DOUBLE DOUBLE LAND / 209 AUGUSTA AVE / 9PM / $7

There are some comedians that you laugh at no matter what they do on stage; Chris Locke's that guy. He's honed a child-like, transparent delivery over the past 10+ years that allows him to deliver material that most comedians would never be able to get a laugh from. Chris has reached the point that every new comedian dreams of: he's found his voice. I'm also looking forward to seeing Jon McCurley, whose, "End of the Internet" YouTube videos had me in stitches. To understand what he's doing, I suggest reading up on the comedic element of, tension and release. Add in heavy hitters like Kathleen Phillips and James Hartnett and you have a powerhouse line-up that keeps on ticking. HBD CL. May someone bring you an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins served in the finest of china.

About the Author: This is Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third-person. My blog, Diary of a Stand-up Comedian, documents the trials and tribulations I go through as I try to get past the just noticeable difference threshold in Toronto's comedy scene.

Photo by Mindy Tucker


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