toronto comedy events

This Week In Comedy: ALTdot Comedy Lounge, Darren Frost, Dana Carvey, and Norm MacDonald

Norm freakin' MacDonald is in town. 'Nuff said.

MON OCT 15 / ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE / RIVOLI / 332 QUEEN W / 9PM / $5

Wowzers, what a lineup! Mark Little (from, like, everything), Rob Pue (Ibid), and Dave Merheje (Just For Laughs, MTV)...I could go on. Pay special attention to two acts: Steve Patrick Adams and Ben Beauchemin. Steve recently won the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Stand-up Newcomer. If you're lucky, he'll do his raisins joke, which has me dying every time. Not to be outdone, Ben is a finalist in the Tim Sim's Fresh Meat Competition, being held later this month at Second City.

WED OCT 17 - SUN OCT 21 / DARREN FROST / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8PM / $11-20

There aren't a lot of comedians whose material is so subversive that they put a warning on the front door, but Darren Frost is one of them. How dark? Masturbating to autopsy photographs while singing Elton John-dark. I wonder if Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, or PBS saw that on his CV before they had him do voice work? I kid. But rest assured, it's not all autopsy jokes. In fact, he's often challenging audiences with social commentary. I like that he has the confidence to let a dead silence linger in the air in order to make a point; you don't see that everyday.

WED OCT 17 / DANA CARVEY / WINTER GARDEN THEATRE / 190 PRINCES' BLVD / 730PM / $72-87

One of my earliest comedic memories is watching Dana Carvey impersonate George Bush Sr. on Saturday Night Live. While my parents laughed at the political nature of the humour, I laughed because he sounded funny, looked funny, and probably because I wanted to be a grown up. The same thing happened during Church Chat, and again when he did Ross Perot. I had no clue that he was a critical part of SNL's resurgence in the late '80s, but looking back, I can see why.

FRI OCT 19 / NORM MACDONALD / QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE / 190 PRINCES' BLVD / 8PM / $49-59

After OJ Simpson was acquitted of murder, Norm, opening The Weekend Update on SNL, deadpanned, "Well, it's official: murder is legal in the state of California." Brilliant. As it turned out, an NBC executive didn't like Norm making fun of his friend, and eventually had him fired. When I hear comedians like Sarah Silverman, Jim Breuer, Jay Mohr, and Dennis Miller talk about him, they sound like they're referring to a legend rather than a former fellow cast member. I love Norm because he's...well, Norm MacDonald, and that's the highest praise anyone can receive, I think.

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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