Having been flush with the success of a weekend with Andrew Grose, a weekend that makes you want to rewrite everything that you’ve ever written so that you can get more laughs-per-minute, I looked forward to coming back to Toronto to host with two co-features at Absolute Comedy.
The parting words that I got from Jason Laurans (the club owner of both Absolute Comedy clubs) was that when working with both Mike Paterson and Ryan Wilner, watch out for the closing segment. Ten minutes of madness. To be honest, I was all “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve seen Jocko Alston’s closer, I get it…it’ll be nuts.”
So, I saw the closer a lot this weekend. And now I can’t get Meatloaf nor “Total Eclipse of the Heart” out of my head.
The first night you do a show with new-to-you folks, you do the whole thing of getting to know the other acts, seeing what their act is like, just figuring out where to drop the pass for the weekend’s shows. Our first show together on Thursday was like any opening night in a play I’ve ever been in. My hosting was as decent as could be, Mike went up and tore the place a new one, and then Ryan took the baton and followed suit. Next thing I know, they’re both hitting the stage lip-syncing their way through a closer that brought any limp audience to a full climax. Okay, that was a bit gratuitous. My bad. Standing ovation hits. Not a bad Thursday.
Friday was a chore with drunks and a collection of people that thought “Live Comedy at Absolute Comedy” meant they should contribute. Good times! Show went hideously long as I had to stop, shut people up, carry on, and try to deliver big laughs prior to the headliners hitting the stage. Big issue was a centre table filled with drunk middle-aged project managers (guessing by the drab garb) celebrating a birthday and shouting out a load of bollocks led by some Irish guy who fuelled the “we should be funny for these people, too” charge. I was able to get the crowd on my side and shut the guys up, and carry on the show. Cue me meeting the hecklers saying I should thank them for the help they gave me. I as politely as I could explained to them that for them to say that they helped the show is like hopping on a streetcar and kicking the driver in the face and announcing to the 501 King car that “You’re helping!” Again, thankfully, the remainder of the audience was on our side.
The shows rolled on and the crowds got (blessedly) friendlier. The closer still erupted every night with Ryan and Mike just…nailing it every night. Fantastic working with them and I’d do it again any day of the week. Hope we get to triple up again.
Oh, side story. I finally did get a bit of work from the Star article(unpaid, so don’t think I’m taking you all to Vegas) that didn’t involve a crazy lady. I’m helping out a Ryerson student with a documentary for a final project. I hope I don’t screw up her grade point average.