Best of the Best: Toronto Edition
Toronto’s comedy scene is off the chain right now. It’s packed with Just For Laughs regulars, TV writers, as well as a host of hungry up and coming talents that are ready to snatch the crown from out of towners that don’t bring their A-game. Best of all, there are a number of hard-working producers that are eating away at the establishment’s market share, putting on quality shows for next to nothing as they strive to build a name for themselves.
This week, we pay homage to Comedy Records, a label dedicated to showcasing Canada’s best. On Wednesday, they’re recording a comedy album with a roster whose credits boast everything from the Edinburgh Fringe to Just For Laughs. Never before have so many of my favourite comedians been on the same show for free.
|Mark DeBonis||Dave Merheje|
Mark Debonis will have you laughing so hard you won’t be able to hear his tags. He’s won everything from the Canadian Comedy Award in 2010 to the Great Canadian Laugh Off in 2011. Dave Merheje is, well, Dave Merheje. He’s a monster, currently tearing things up on the college circuit as well as being the best new addition to the MTV roster.
|K. Trev Wilson||Tim Golden|
But wait! There’s also Monty Scott, Nick Reynoldson, K. Trev Wilson, Tim Golden…there’s more, but I’m stopping for the sake of breaking the monotony. Seriously, you guys, this could be the most stacked show of the year. When you also take into consideration that they’re taping an album, and will be therefore presenting their best material, you have a recipe for fireworks. (Note: Mark’s joke at 2:00 is AUsome!)
In every significant artistic movement, independent producers have reached into their own pockets to free themselves and their artists from the massive record labels who wanted to tell them what to do and how to do it. The reason that this show is significant is that it signifies what’s possible when comedians decide to go it on their own.
It seems that comedy producers are popping up everywhere these days, leveraging the infrastructure of small to mid-size venues and doing everything from handing out flyers to negotiating for food and drink specials in order to build their brand. It’s tough, and there are more than a few rooms that are emptier than Pomfret Castle on any given night in Toronto.
Luckily, only the strong survive when it comes to comedy. And when you think about it, if you can’t fall off the floor, what’s there for them to lose?
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, walks you through the ups and downs (they’re mostly downs, really) in my quest to become a killer comic in Toronto.