Reviews

How The West Was Won

So after the tragic moose confrontation and the few times that I screamed at the TV whenever a Montana’s commercial would come on, the tour continued. I at least got off a wee bit easy in that Andrew Grose, the moose collider, had to now deal with a broken car, get a rental, and drive his arse to Calgary for a spot. Apparently when he told his insurance agent that he’d hit a moose, the rep on the line said, “Where you calling from? Heaven?” We fully admit that we were lucky to leave alive, the pain was mitigated for me after I played drinking games with the Tragically Hip the following night.

#SamLJacksonStarsIn ‘Casablanca’:

So with the “Fail Whale Tales” now nothing more than a memory in the Twitter-Space, the odd Google alert that garnered traffic through people looking at it and the like, and a stack of posters that were too numerous to hang, ditto the FWT postcards that I’ll now use as index cards and bookmarks for magazines, it’s been more than a daily trip down the QEW to Hamilton for the Hamilton Fringe. The whole experience of building a show from idea, to script, to production was as arduous as it was rewarding. I’m a bit wired and knackered at the same time as I write this, fresh from the drive back from the Hammer, so here are the thoughts I currently have on it that are now able to be more than 140 characters in length.

First Night Twitters

“Germany.”

– end of transmission –

So that was the enforced triumphant closer to the first show of my run at the Hamilton Fringe Festival. “The Fail Whale Tales” stopped suddenly for those watching on the web, but not for those in attendance at The Pepper Jack CafĂ©. Apparently it wasn’t just the folks in the room learning stuff about Twitter. Seems Twitter checks the number of tweets you send out over the course of time and cuts off your ability to broadcast tweets after a flurry of activity. As you can imagine I send a few tweets over the course of the show, so this was a small setback for the remote audience. But that will just motivate folks to come down and see it live.

Admittedly, the first show did feel like a first show. Nervousness, excitement, nostalgia. And that was just from finding a Dr. Disk in Hamilton, a music store franchise that I’d not seen since my university days. Sadly, the closing of the Twitter-dam was not the only obstacle that I was going to hit.

Okay. Firstly. Thanks.

So just so we’re all aware and everything’s clear, it was all Darcy’s idea.

The one guy that can’t deal with crowds, packed houses, and looks forward to talking in front of an audience about as much as one would elective surgery, drowning, or the next “Transformers” movie, decided that to celebrate our two year anniversary show, we should do it in front of an audience. Now back when he first brought this up, sometime before February of this year, I was racking my brain trying to figure out exactly where we’d be able to get a room for hire. Where ever could we get a room?

Taking the Bullet and Surprising the Back of the Room

Last week in Ottawa provided a very strong contrast to this week in Toronto that illustrated the differences between the two rooms. Both the Absolute Comedy showrooms in either city are laid out the same way in terms of stage, seating, everything. The difference was the crowds and the manner in which I stood in front of them. Yanked from the usual role of hosting that I do every week at McVeigh’s, I pulled on the middle shift at Ottawa with my buddy Ward Anderson as host and Matt Davis (my newest funny friend) taking the headlining duties. That presented challenges. Coming back to TO, I pulled back on the comfortable jammies of hosting but not in my familiar haunt of the snug McVeigh’s but at Absolute Comedy in full view of a full room on a Wednesday filled with amateurs who I apparently gave some a shock akin to walking in on your dog as he composes a sonata on a harp.

Good dog.