Comedy Toronto

This Week In Comedy: John Hastings, Rick Currie, Geoff Mackay, Dante Nero, and John Pinette

I've seen large spacer earrings before, but Dante Nero takes it to another level. You'll see what I mean. Lend me your eyes as I walk you through This Week In Comedy.

TUES WED FRI SAT / JOHN HASTINGS / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / TUES & WED 8PM / FRI & SAT 10PM

Do me a favour and watch the clip. See if you notice the casual way he approaches the mic, the improv off the top, the crowd work, the callback to the joke originating from the crowd work, the smooth way he transitions into his prepared material...I realize that most people won't see this, but I do. Long story short, it's like he speaks in punchlines. He's putting on four shows for free in preparation for his gig at the largest arts event of its kind, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Just...do me a favour and watch the clip.

WED APR 25 - SUN APR 29 / RICK CURRIE feat. GEOFF MACKAY / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15

Rick's from the old school, beginning in 1984, one year after I was born. His accolades include Just For Laughs, writing for, 'Open Mike with Mike Bullard' and a special on CTV's Comedy Now. From what I can tell, he works clean. Opening for Rick is Geoff Mackay, who keeps the audience guessing with a mix of jokes, stories, and characters. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Given that the adult attention span is a mere 22 minutes, it's not enough for a comedian to have funny material. One must have a consistently interesting act (Jay Sankey, Zen and the Art of Stand-up Comedy).

THURS APR 26 / DANTE NERO / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM / $10

On his ear? Nope, I don't know what that is on his ear. It might be buffalo bone. Dante's amassed an impressive resume, from appearing on Chappelle's Show to playing at the Laugh Factory and Caroline's on Broadway. His is an act of extremes, from laid back and relaxed to in your face crowd work. Opening for him are local favourites, Rob Mailloux, Evan Desmarais, and Quinn C. Martin.

FRI APR 27 / JOHN PINETTE / MASSEY HALL / 178 VICTORIA / 730PM / $51-61

Oh, that's what his name is! You'll remember his face from TV, and now you know his name: John Pinette. He toured with Frank freakin' Sinatra. I'm going to skip the single Wowzers and instead jump right to the Double Wowzers. It almost seems like an afterthought to mention that he's been on everything from Alf to Seinfeld. His stand-up? He's a powerhouse on stage that's obviously spent a lot of effort crafting each and every line he delivers. I lost count of the number of times that he shattered the imaginary world that he created in the above clip. But then again, what would you expect from a guy that was asked to share the stage with Ol' Blue Eyes?

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, teaches you how to be, and how not to be, a comic.


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