The Actually Really Good Stand-Up Comedy Show Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, May 7
Published May 08, 2016The Actually Really Good Stand-Up Comedy Show felt a little long because it had a whopping eight comics on the bill (and a few of them showed up late for their sets), but overall it was mostly "actually really good" like its title promised. Aside from the underdeveloped material at the end, the show was consistently funny.
Host and producer Michael Kolberg started the night with a few jokes about how it was difficult to stand out as a straight white male in comedy, as well as an amusing bit about how having money from an inheritance sounds excessively privileged. In addition, Kolberg talked about how no one feels sorry for old white men by telling a story about his uncle losing his drone. These premises could have easily been not relatable, but Kolberg's playful self-deprecation prevented them from sounding too elite.
Chris Robinson followed with some great material about his Jamaican grandmother, and the ridiculous state of modern art. Robinson's anecdote about his grandma being racist against her own race was very funny, as was his story about her light-heartedly reminding him about a brutally horrible breakup he went through. Moreover, his vision of becoming a famous photographer just to get a picture of his anus in an art gallery and watch people try to attach meaning to the image was smart and hilarious.
After Robinson, Brian Ward shared a series of snappy observations about the weird wishes genies must hear, how mayonnaise is never given credit in BLT sandwiches, and how cranberries are an inferior berry. Though the subjects he covered were rather innocent, his jokes stood out because they were so compact and polished.
Ben Beauchemin did some wonderfully original material about how his face looks too small for his head, plus he told an equally unique narrative about how he accidentally ended up yelling at a heckler that didn't exist.
Andrew Barr discussed the fact that he had a widow's peak since he was 16, and told a hilarious anecdote about eating so much shrimp on an "all you can eat" day that he ended up barfing nearly whole sea creatures like he had some bizarre super power.
Chris Locke followed with some equally amazing material about watching a terrible home birth video with his wife while she was pregnant. His whole recounting of this video was solidly entertaining, but the best part was when Locke absurdly described the horrifying substances coming out the woman's body as a random list of items, which included receipts.
Ashley Moffatt and Sara Hennessey closed the show with two average sets that suffered from the same problem: both comics needed to flesh out their material with sharper writing. Moffatt comically jabbed at people who say they're from "London, Ontario" as if they could be mistaken for a British person, then strung it together with a bit with serious potential about how her Mom has been married six times. Hennessey then bounced on stage with her delightfully bubbly personality and delivered some comedy about how everyone she knows is either getting into softball or an open relationship, then told a mundane story about lying about the existence of a pizza place called Mario's in North York.