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Saturday, July 18, 2015

2015 Just For Laughs Fest: Nasty Show Review

I think people in Montreal get spoiled and jaded to all the awesome shit that happens in this city. I think that's even one of the reasons the Expos left is because we're Entertainment Overloaded here to the point where we get jaded and don't appreciate the high quality of Entertainment that this city offers to us.

I'm that way too, like after the 5th time of going to the Jazz Fest you kind of get the feeling of "been there, done that" and you stop going. I realized that the last time I went to a Just For Laughs gala was probably over a decade ago. It's just one of those things you take for granted that it happens every year because you've "been there done that" already. Just like the Expos though, if we don't support these things they might eventually stop as well. It's great for tourism but local support is important too.

The last time I went, it was a gala hosted by Jon Stewart and Lewis Black was the headliner. I'm sure this was over 10 years ago. The Just for Laughs fest is something, as a Montrealer, I think I filed away under "been there done that" and that's a shame because getting jaded to comedy is a terrible thing to do.

I think this year's Just for Laughs fest is uncommonly hardcore in terms of just how many comics and funny people are barnstormin' the city this July. Literally almost every funny person who is still living is in the city of Montreal right now.

Dave Chappelle for example who doesn't preform much anymore is doing TEN sold out shows this year. They got Weird Al doing a free open air concert which is cool, adult me is excited about a free Weird Al show...but I can try and imagine-back how excited "11 year old me" would have been about that. I used to rock out to Weird Al all the time as a child unit.

Every one is pumped up for this Comedy business this year....I can say with confidence that this year's comedy fest is the most stacked lineup in history.

Nasty Show

I like dirty comedy, I think it's natural and honest. To me hearing offensive stuff is like the emotion I get from watching horror movies. I know the horror movie is going to freak me out and exercise my fear-muscles...and I want it to do that. If a horror movie doesn't scare me I feel jipped. Same thing with offensive comedy...if the comics didn't offend me and exercise my uncomfortable-muscles then I feel jipped.

The lineup for this year's Nasty Show was fucked-upingly bad-ass. They spiced it up this year for sure.

I'm gonna do a short review of the immense talent displayed at this show while it is still fresh in my mind.

Host: Mike Ward

Ward is already a huge act within the French demographic of North America. He is the biggest stand up in Quebec right now. That demo is only about 6 million people or so, and he wants to do some english material to try and launch into the English North American demo as well...which is something like 300 million people or more. He's fluent in both french and english so tapping the other 300 million people of North America shouldn't be a difficult transition for him.

His bits were solid, he did a great job...as host, his main function was to get the crowd pumped and ready to get crazy for the comics. Every time he took the stage the DJ would play "Killing in the Name Of" by Rage Against the Machine which is a great way to get folks amped. His crowd interaction was on the mark and he asked the right pump-up question to the large crowd..."are you all getting drunk!? Ya!" to get them fully pumped up to laugh.

 I think he can gain an American audience for sure.

Final Rating: A+

Leadoff Man: Mike Wilmot

Mike is an old horse from the Canadian circuit, he's a professional, he knows what he's doing. He's got a deep raspy voice that fits well with the material he does. He came out swingin' and the crowd really dug it.

He had a lot of quality material, one joke that was really good was a his sandwich joke. Paraphrased here....

"I'm open minded, I love all cultures. You guys in Montreal have a lot of different cultures and that's great, I like that. I think you can tell a lot about people from the sandwiches they make. A lebanese guy making a shawarma for instance. How can you hate arabs after eatin' one of those? Those guys make amazing sandwiches! Biting into one of those is like biting into Love. Then look at the Jews....people hate 'em...but how can you hate 'em? Have you ever eaten smoked meat down at Schwartz's? That's a damn good sandwich! Then there's the Chinese......um.....hold on they don't have any sandwiches....their more of a dumpling people.

...I don't trust those damned dumpling people! Why can't you make a sandwich!?
That bit is funny because it's true. Chinese food is amazing and great but how come they never work with bread? Why can't the Chinese design a damned sandwich? Wilmot is right.

He was a great leadoff guy.

Final Rating: A+

The Always Impeccable and Refined: Jimmy Carr

This guy very meticulous and methodical, he is a consummate professional. He knows exactly how to work with time, pauses, and delivery.

The Triple Toppin' Triceratops of Comedy
He works with "toppers" which are basically added bonus punches to punch lines. He won't hold up at one topper though he goes into 3 or 4 topper punches on punch lines at times. A formulaiic breakdown of his style on a Big 3 Topper is as so....

Look business-like at clipboard -> Present Set Up -> Pregnant Pause -> Punch Line -> Shift Eyes from Left to Right in Eye Socket 3 to 4 times -> Topper 1 -> Shift Eyes from Left to Right in Eye Socket 3 to four times -> Topper 2 -> Shift Eyes from Left to Right in Eye Socket 3 to four times -> TOPPER 3!

His jokes have 3+ punch lines in many cases, they are serious three horners. In the dinosaur world you call a three horned beast a Triceratops. His tri-top method makes him the Triceratops of Comedy, no doubt.

He works well with contrast too. He presents himself as a regaled/official British man of Royal/Noble extraction....but his material has to do with the dirtiest n' filthiest shit, guy. The contrast works very very well.

Final Rating: A+

The Queen Bee Herself: Ms. Luenell

Queen Bee
The brand of comedy championed in the "Party Records" era of Rudy Ray Moore, Redd Foxx, LaWanda Page and others undoubtedly was a Golden Age of Comedy.

Luenell's brand of comedy really is an encapsulation of that Golden Age. She's keeping that style alive and well with her killer act. She is amongst the greats of LaWanda Page and Lady Reed...her style is up there with those two comics, no doubt.

Her act made me feel like I was whisked away into a Dolemite movie. It was cool. Her material is top notch too, no doubt about it. She does a great bit about how the masturbatorial habits of men and women differ (complete with an impression of how both men and women masturbate their dicks/pussies).

Her blowjob material was the killer part of the set, for me. She animates all the stuff she's talking about with mannerisms and it's so filthy and funny. A paraphrased example....

"Damn, men don't understand that blowjobs are fore play...they want that shit to be the whole sex session. No! That is just foreplay. Y'all get 17-18 up and down sucks and that's IT then we gotta fuck. Seventeen to eighteen sucks...or 40 if it's your birthday! 

I don't know what's up with dicks these days either. Back in the day guys had nice big hard cocks you could suck on. Now y'all got these floppy bastards that I can't even get a grip on! I don't want to be chasin' a dick all over the damn room just to suck that shit! Damn."

She helps explain her points by animating the sex acts with the mic and her hands. When she shows you how hard it is to suck on a stupid floppy-ass dick....it's as funny as fuck.

Final Rating: A+

 The Phantom of the Opera of Comedy: Mr. Gilbert Gottfried

Art by Drew Friedman
Next the twisted and dark soul of Gilbert Gottfried took the stage, a deranged man who lives under Alan Thicke's cat walk....this creature does comedy sets in the bowels of that cavernous catwalk which haunt the land over and anyone within ear shot of his screeches and wails.

He takes the stage with two fingers over his eyes as a makeshift mask. Peeking out at the audience through his Adam West-esque Batusi mask...the phantom of the opera of comedy begins his set and the audience witnesses a true Master in Action.

His shrill voice pierces the air as the wails of this phantom carry to the back of the theater like a crescendo of nails on a chalk board. The shrill yet steady wails subside as his voice magically transforms into that of a well known celebrity from the 80s. His impression is so on the mark and perfect...the audience is simply left stunned by this doppelganger's mimicry.

The phantom's voice is a matter-less ether that can metamorphasize itself into any celebrity who's ever lived. Seven times out of ten....you don't even know who the fuck that celebrity is and have to google them. The phantom can become Kevin McCarthy, Georgie Jessel, Robert Benchley, Lou Costello, Bella Lugosi....all at the drop of a hat.

His transmogrifications into deceased obscure celebrities is a phenomenon which both shocks and captivates audiences the world over.

The masterful performance of The Phantom of the Opera known as "Comedy" has him regarded by the audience as a craftsman and icon....as he bows to acknowledge their feverish cheers.

Battin' Cleanup: "King Arthur" Lange

The bases were loaded up as all the previous comedians all got on their figurative bases. Mike Ward came out to get the crowd pumped one more time...this time....for the cleanup hitter...the great Artie Lange.

Never afraid to speak his mind, the impeccable Artie takes swings at all kinds of jabronies....but most of all the "kids these days."

The template known as the "problem with kids these days" is a cherished tradition in the comedy world. Here is Jack Carter telling the world what was wrong with the kids of the 1960s:

Da Kids deeez days (circa 1960-something)

The kids of the 60s just danced around and annoyed people....they were dumb...but not even as close to as dumb as the kids DEEZ DAYS! Forget about it, the kids these days. They are all retarded and everyone hates them and we all know it but no one has the balls to tell the Kids These Days to fuck off and eat shit....but Artie has those balls....Artie Lange is made of fucking balls, man.

Montreal has a lot of those "kids these days" and many of them aren't even kids anymore...they grew up and moved to what they call "The Plateau" and they just hipster it up 24-7 while they talk about the latest ironic summer fashions. Artie can't handle these kids, he can't even stand them....and neither can I.

Artie, thinking aloud on stage, was wondering to himself and the audience how'd he'd explain today's world to his father if his dad could come back to life for one day. How would he explain the Kardashians and other modern mysteries to his dad?

"....Dad, you know that Olympic guy from the early eighties, that Bruce Jenner guy? Remember that guy? Well, he has a fucking pussy now...."
Haha. Artie brought the whole night together....and he's so quick and agile mentally that he managed to work in a shout out to Jimmy Carr and that unique style of his as Artie double topped the end to this joke ...complete with 3-4 left-to-right fast eye shifts.

He came in hitting cleanup with the bases loaded...and this veritable Babe Ruth of Comedy knocked it out of the park. Grand fuckin' Slam!

Haha, I think the bat connected to the sweet part of the figurative ball when he made me mentally picture Lamar Odom drinking a tall glass of frosty crack! Haha.

Final Rating: A+


All of them killed. Hilarious night, for real.

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