Why was Kevin Sorbo at Comedy Bar doing a show called Garbage Weekend? This will explain.
I am still on a break from the blog, but I just wanted to put up a couple photos from the Kevin Sorbo Garbage Weekend at Comedy Bar. It was a nutty weekend, including two Sketchersons shows in two days. A best-of on Saturday with Sorbs, and a regular Sunday Night Live with Bob Kerr the following day.
Needless to say it was an exhausting, crazy, hilarious weekend. I am looking forward to switching gears this week and focusing a bit more on stand-up. Thanks for hanging in there with the blog if you are, I appreciate all the positive feedback I have received since deciding to take a break. I am working on a new theory article and we’ve got some guest posters getting lined up, and hope to get things back up to speed in the fall.
Hey dudes, dudettes, and rude dudes, and rude dudettes. I updated ye olde open mike listing, go ahead and see what new shows you’re missing by clicking
Hey everyone, you may have noticed it’s been a little bit since I last updated the blog. I just want to check in and let you know that it hasn’t been abandoned or anything, I’m just taking a little break. Updating a blog is a constant, ongoing project, and sometimes other things get in the way. Usually it’s writing things that pay me money, and occasionally sweet summer bbqs.
That being said, I still very much love this blog and have plenty more articles to write about stand-up comedy. But for the next little bit I’m going to chill out and recharge my batteries. I’ll still put up stuff to share, so check back when ya can, and thanks for understanding.
Today’s sketch is one I wrote for Dale Boyer when she was hosting the show. I have a lot of trouble writing grounded scenes, you may have noticed, I like things to be hyper silly. Dale’s work on Second City mainstage means that she is very good at the kind of real, grounded scenes Second City is famous for. I didn’t want to waste that, so I wrote this one about a kid living in his mom’s basement. It’s a bit of a cliche premise, but I tried to throw in some curve balls for sure.
What I Learned: Alex Tindal can say “Mommmmm” in so many different ways.
Fun Fact: It doesn’t come through in the video, but the reason why everyone is laughing so hard at the end when Alex is watching cartoons is because we were thumping on the wall to make it sound like a bed being knocked around upstairs.
Favourite Moment: Dale coming in and saying “I am knee-deep in watermelon right now!”
Today’s shout out is to Toronto comic and a good friend of mine, DJ Demers.
DJ and I started doing stand-up comedy around the same time, and we immediately hit it off. I really enjoyed his bits, and he was also a genuinely nice guy with lots of intelligent things to say about stand-up.
He is one of those guys I am always happy to see, whether to enjoy his newest jokes, or just share a pint and chat about comedy.
What does he have to say about comedy? Let’s find out.
12 Questions with DJ Demers
What made you decide to start performing stand-up comedy?
I’ve wanted to be a stand-up comedian since I was a little girl. I did public speaking all throughout elementary school and I tried to spice up my high school valedictorian speech with some comedy. But then it didn’t seem like a smart career choice so I went to university for business. In third year, I travelled from Waterloo to Toronto to do the Tuesday night open mic at Yuk Yuk’s. I actually had a great set, and when I got off stage, I decided then and there I would pursue comedy as soon as I graduated.
Can you name a couple of comics you look up to and why you admire them?
Louis CK and George Carlin, for their ability to mix social commentary with some solid fart jokes. I also love straight up joke-tellers like Jerry Seinfeld. He is a master craftsman. I love Toronto comic Dave Merheje, who is a legend in my book. When he is on a stage, he commands your attention.
Yes, Dave is stunning for sure. One word answer: What do you consider the hardest part of performing stand-up comedy?
One word answer: What do you consider the best part of performing stand-up comedy?
What is the worst/funniest experience you have had while performing at a comedy show?
One time I was performing at a show where former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque was in the audience. I called him a big bozo and threatened to fight him. I thought I would run with that joke for five minutes, but I looked at his 6’5 270 pound body and immediately retracted my statement.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
I would say to just do it. And do it as much as possible. When you first play guitar, it is hard to even play a single chord. But you have to keep doing it to play a beautiful song. So just get out there and say some jokes. Also, remember that nothing matters, in life or comedy, so there is absolutely no pressure.
Name three movies, TV shows, or books that you go to when you want to have a good hard laugh.
The Simpsons, Dumb and Dumber, and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I worked at a call centre for an insurance company. I fielded calls from people wondering if they were covered for certain benefits. Oftentimes, I had to tell them that their insurance claim was rejected after they had already spent their money, thinking they were covered. One elderly woman was so upset after my rejection that she told me she was walking to a bridge to kill herself. I said, “Alright, you have a great day ma’am.” I’m sure she was joking, and that her muffled sobs were fake. Right!?
What kind of humour bores you?
I can tell immediately when a comic is bored by his/her own material. That’s why I like comedians who constantly update their material. Don’t tell me a joke you wrote fifteen years ago. Give me something that means something to you. Otherwise, you might as well be reciting someone else’s material.
What 5 comics, dead or alive, would you book for your vision of a perfect stand-up show?
Mitch Hedberg, Bill Hicks, Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin, Chris Farley (I know he isn’t stand-up, but he is the best.)
What is your favourite comedy album?
I love Louis CK’s ‘Chewed Up’.
Do you have any topics that you consider off-limits in your act?
No. As long as it’s funny, it’s money. I just made that expression up. Feel free to use it. You don’t want to use it? Very well then. Cheers.
Cheers to you, DJ, wherever you may be. (On Sunday July 24, 2011, he will be at Second City as part of the NBA Comics show Awesome Raddank – go here for details).
Today’s sketch was really all about just unleashing Kaitlin Loftus’ deadly physical comedy on an unsuspecting crowd. The structure is simple, and like most simple things, it worked.
What I Learned: Sometimes working in a group is just acknowledging an area where someone is gifted, and then staying out of their way. A couple of times leading up to the show Kaitlin asked me what I thought for costumes or movement, and I refused to give any input because I knew I would just water it down.
Fun Fact: It doesn’t come through very well in the video, but both Kaitlin and I had ziplock bags full of water in our pockets to simulate peeing our pants. This was after trying other technologies like water balloons. When I burst my bag it all fell in one ball of water straight down my pant leg and into my shoe. Oh well, next time.
Favourite Moment: Definitely when Jocelyn and Kaitlin crack up near the end.
Happy Pop Thursday.
Today I’m thinking a lot about Fido Dido.
But I’m still not going to drink 7 Up because it sucks, and tastes like a ballerina’s left sock. No, it’s my old stand-by Dr. Pepper for me today.
Looking good, Old Crone!
I want to point your attention to an article that was part of Wired Magazine’s Humour issue recently. Wired is a solid, well-written magazine, and this guy has a neat theory about how laughing reactions can be boiled down to what he calls a “benign violation.” It also has an anecdote involving him pissing off Louis CK which is pretty funny as well. Check it out while you’re slurpin’ away at that pop, pal!