This is a recount of my experience and thoughts about, ‘Standing on the Danforth‘ which is a weekly comedy show put on by Jo-Anna Downey, a multiple Canadian Comedy Award-nominated stand-up comedian.
This made me laugh today (Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant are brilliant):
Toronto Comedian Approaches Venue
I take the TTC to Pape station and use my iPhone’s map to find The Eton House, a Danforth pub. I’m a suburbs guy, give me a break.
I, a lowly habitant, arrive and immediately notice the seigneur (it means host, all of you who slept through grade 8 Canadian History), Jo-Anna Downey. But I figure that with 10 minutes to showtime, she might be busy and so I refrain from making an introduction. So I take my customary stool at the bar so it’s not obvious that I’ve arrived alone; arriving alone doesn’t ooze machismo, you know.
What’ll it be?
My journey to become a stand up comedian leads me to bars 5-6 times per week, and I don’t want to be drinking almost everyday of the week for both health and personal finance-related reasons, and so I order a Coke. That’ll impress the ladies, eh? What are you having? A Heineken. You? A coke with ice and this nifty pinstriped bendy straw.
(Part 2 of this Standing on the Danforth review discusses Debra DiGiovanni’s performance, the Hallmark of a Professional Comedian, and Running out of Material)
Damn you, Obsolete iPhone!
I never liked beer. The taste made me wince when I was a kid; I figure that’s our evolutionary physical response saying, ‘Stop that shit right now.’ But then again, Big Mac’s taste exquisite…
I remember a job interview I had with the owners of a start-up IT consulting firm. Our last meeting was in a bar at 2pm on a Thursday, and I was the first to order. I ordered a Coke, and the other 3 partners ordered in quick succession, “Rickard’s Red, Rickard’s Red, Rickard’s Red”. I thought I lost the job right there and then. I said to myself, “That’s as good as ordering chocolate milk, you idiot…” I got the job. Coke, it turns out, is the modern man’s scotch.
Little did I know that the Coke was $4.00. Perhaps if I had the iPhone 4s with the personal assistant, Siri, I would’ve known that ahead of time and got more bang for my buck.
Feraz Shere goes up first. I had never seen him before, but I figured he was a comic because he was the only other non-caucasian in the building. He had a great Barack Obama impression, but the mix of american politics stirred and rap references were lost on this 40+ year-old white crowd. Apparently, they were familiar with the musical stylings of neither Ludacris nor Lil’ Jon.
My mind works
As the comics go up, my mind can’t help crafting jokes that relate to the event and other comedians. Rene Robichaud, a seasoned Toronto comic, has a Jesus joke. I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great to have Jesus as a first name? You could answer the phone, Yes my son? And when people left your house, you could say, Go forth.”
Renee is also a vegetarian, and I thought I could use the joke I crafted yesterday:
Another guy talks about his niece. I wonder if telling them a story about the time I tricked my 4-year old nephew that I flew into the apartment like Superman would work. When I came in, he was in the bedroom and so I hid on the balcony, waited for him to come out, and then walked in through the balcony door with my hands stretched out in front of me like I was soaring through the air. He regarded my girlfriend for confirmation, she obliged, he: amazed. But then I showed him the ice cream I got for him, and he forgot about the whole thing.
I read that one of the ways you come up as a comic is host shows. I think I could do that. It’s less pressure because you get to deliver quick laughs and can play off the comics.
Next: Continue to Part 2 of my Standing on the Danforth Review, where I discuss Debra DiGiovanni’s performance, the Hallmark of a Professional Comedian, and Running out of Material