Eight Is Enough
With an entire week having elapsed, I now find myself back in Toronto dealing with all that I missed being in Ottawa for the entire time. Looking back, it was like taking the anticipation of Christmas and then finding out that come the morning of the 25th, the Fat Man actually left you not only everything that was on your list, but also anticipating what you were going to ask for next year. The hosting gig was just like that, but more. I always look forward to performing at that club since it’s one of the most well-designed and most comedian-and-crowd-friendly venues that you’ll ever have the privilege of being at. Every show was close-to if not completely sold out, including the Wednesday ProAm night. Yes, the amateur night. Sold out. I know.
This weekend I had the privilege of working with Brian Lazanik whom I’d never worked with or even seen before. He’s recently left the Yuk’s family and because of that I’ve not had the opportunity to see him or work with him. Fantastic one-liner comic that engages and keeps the audience the entire time. I was batting 1.000 when it comes to headliners I’ve worked with in Ottawa and the streak continues. I’d work with Brian any night of the week, and it turns out, twice on Friday and Saturday. Middle act was awesome friend Carrie Gaetz who brought her usual brand of awesomeness and the week was peppered with opening spots throughout the week from buddy Stephen “Yogurt” Byrne, Alex “Damn Dennis Miller” Wood, and Max “Barry Gibb Look-a-Like” Martin.
The week started out at Tailgators, a sports-and-pool-hall-type bar with wings that puts on an intro-show for the week to showcase the MC and the headliner for the week. Packed into a room with the same architecture of a spaghetti box, the crowd got into the show, liked Scott McMann, Wendi Reed, and Stephen Byrne as openers and lost it for Brian. Fantastic night outside of the guy that heckled me at the end of the show. The end? Really? You spend the entire show thinking up stuff to say? That’s like heckling the movie credits. “HE’s your key grip!?!? You suck!”
The rest of the week at Absolute went like clockwork and hats go off to all the staff for once again making us feel utterly and completely welcome. Special thanks to Lunchbox and Korn in the kitchen for the meals. Why them? When was the last time you had a chef chase you down to see if you wanted sautéed mushrooms and Swiss on your burger you just ordered? That’s right. It’s special.
Downsides? Not many to mention. Outside of the chronologically-delayed heckler at Tailgators, the only think I can think of is the lippy tart from Kelowna that wouldn’t shut up and was eventually asked to leave (BC, once again you need better ambassadors), and the bridal party on Sunday that pimped me to put a lei around the B2B. The Kelowna chick started in after three minutes on the Saturday late show. Typical dialogue went like this:
tva: So, I’m from Gananoque, and…
Darling-Inhabiting-Near-Kelowna: Sucks to be you.
tva: Sorry, luv. We can’t all be from North Gower.
DINK: I’m not from North Gower.
tva: Then where you from?
DINK: Kelowna, BC.
tva: No wonder you’re so rude then…
So off she goes talking through everyone’s set and curling up like she was on a La-Z-Boy against her friend and her boyfriend who would not be out of place if he were made out of granite and wearing a Fantastic Four jumpsuit. Since we started our little chat, he seemed very aloof and monosyllabic with his responses. I read this as, “Carry on, FunnyMan. She’ll say what she wants and you’ll deal with it, unless you really are thinking a change of location for your testicles is in order.” Eventually, she was given enough rope and was ejected dejected.
Oh, and another thing. Here’s a little something for the rest of you thinking this is cool. Please, for the love of the show and the dignity of the comics, when you’ve got a special little night going on, don’t ask us to lei, crown, knight, or in any way prop-ify your birthday person/soon-to-be Bridezilla/post-op sex changer your guest of honour. Firstly, though very near and dear to you, as they should be, no one in the audience could give two poops about your little party. The fact you need the attention just tells us all that you have no imagination to make the night special for your guest and you need to rely on cheap party tricks to get the job done. That and comics hate doing crap like this. We have a show to do. Plus, when hosting, we get to the “who’s in the crowd” portion off the top so you can whoop, holler, and systematically embarrass your honouree with the rest of the folks celebrating. So, do we have a deal? Cool. Now go pick your bridal party dresses. The more seafoam green the better.