toronto comedy

This Week In Comedy: Goodbye John Hastings, Moody McCarthy feat. Trent McClellan, James Adomian, West End Girls, and Set List

Guys, we're losing one of Canada's best comedians this week. John Hastings is a powerhouse on stage, with crowd work and impeccably written material that's made him a favourite with both the crowd and his fellow comics. Let's send him off in style, shall we?

TUES JULY 17 / GOODBYE, JOHN HASTINGS / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 9PM / $10

John Hastings is leaving Canada for England, and that makes me a sad panda. Luckily, he's going out in style, producing and headlining this week's best show. A few months ago, he held a series of events to prepare material for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Although he said that he was trying out new stuff, I couldn't tell, and neither could the audience. He killed, and I expect him to kick things up a notch on Tuesday. What takes this event from great to can't-miss is host Graham Kay and the ever-upset Dom Pare. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the comedic brain drain we seem to be experiencing of late. Farewell, John Hastings. You will be missed.

WED JULY 18 - SUN JULY 22 / MOODY McCARTHY feat. TRENT McCLELLAN / ABSOLUTE COMEDY / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15

Your headliner, Moody McCarthy, is quietly putting together one of the better resumes in comedy these days. Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Kimmel, and opening for the likes of Brian Regan, Daryl Hammond, and Jimmy Fallon. His cohort, Trent McClellan, has done a clean sweep on the Canadian circuit, being featured on the bill of the Halifax Comedy Festival, Just For Laughs, CBC, CTV, and the Comedy Network.

FRI JULY 20 / JAMES ADOMIAN / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 1030PM / $15

James' TV credits don't lie, including Craig Ferguson, MADtv, Jimmy Kimmel, Mind of Menstealia...you get the idea. His impressions of George Bush Jr. and Jesse Ventura are so good that the judges on Last Comic Standing requested a taste even while they were supposed to be critiquing his performance. When you have comedic judges asking for more, you know you're doing something right.

SAT JULY 21 / SET LIST / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 8PM / $15

In my opinion, one of the hallmarks of truly great comedians is their ability to think on their feet. In that spirit, Set List puts comics to the test by giving them a list of terms with which to joke about...while they're on stage. Your cast includes James Adomian, Levi MacDougall, Sean Green, Ron Sparks, Dave Merheje, and Evan Desmarais.

SAT JULY 21 / WEST END GIRLS / THE RHINO / 1249 QUEEN W / 8PM / $5

Headlining this edition of West End Girls is Laurie Elliott, whose CV includes The Red Green Show, a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-up, and Just For Laughs. The show also boasts Hoodo Hersi, dubbed, 'Chris Rock in a hijab.' I hope she culturally transposes his famous, 'Black people vs. You Know Who'--that alone would be the worth the price of admission! Pay special attention to Heather Gold, who has done everything from stand-up at Gotham to speaking engagements at...Google? Damn, girl.

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 comedian in Toronto.


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