Shots From The Grass-y Knoll
So, you’d think that when you find yourself waist deep in Queen’s University Frosh that these people would like to do nothing more than go to a dope-friendly show, pony up their OSAP and parents’ coin to come out, have some beers, laughs, and help a cause. You’d think that. And you’d be partially right. A decent crowd came out to Time to Laugh in Kingston for the second of three ExtragaGANGA shows set up by Howard Dover. The first I did in Ottawa had a fairly packed room and there was little-to-no expectation that the same wouldn’t happen again in Kingston. And it did. Sorta.
This would be my first time doing Time to Laugh, and being a kinda-local-boy, I was totally looking forward to the opportunity to pony out Gananoque jokes and help the cause. I got to Kingston wicked early thanks to a dandy screaming-kid-why-oh-why-doesn’t-anyone-have-a-feather-pillow trip grace à Via Rail. My call on DRIVE-FM got the kybosh since Mike Reid was out in Ottawa doing something on a bus, leading me to think he’ll do anything to avoid having to deal with me in person. No worries. I tooled around the downtown attempting to spread the word. I stopped into a used record and DVD store and it turned out the woman behind the cash was coming to the show. Result! I told her I was on the show, but given that she was ringing up a PS2 Activision compilation game, I’m assuming she thought that there’s no way this old coot bent on nostalgia standing before her would be funny.
Nearer show time I got to the club and got to see who all was on the roster. Obviously Howard was there since this was his baby, and then I saw the other acts. Russell Roy once again was joining us, as did long-time friends Mike Cliff, Paul Heywood, and Rodney Pentland, and local comic who I’d never met before Dave Hudson. Again, I look at the list and wonder “Exactly why am I here? To provide a basis of comparison?”
We stood outside the club waiting for the throngs. Well, the trickle of folks that hit the club. Closer and closer to show time and we’re wondering, “Are we going to be doing this for comics?” Ungood. Gradually people started coming in, giving us approximately 30-50 people to entertain, all of them sitting in the middle third of the room. No one wants to sit in the front row, especially on a marijuana show. What if the comic got hungry and delusional and mistook an audience member for a plate of Pad Thai? Not at all good things. Probably wise.
For a smaller crowd, they enjoyed my stuff (not so much the riff I did on Palin’s soon-to-be-grandchild and how it related to her Pro-Life stance, but that was right-then-new so not too bothered either way). Crowd liked the show, the owners liked the show, so I’m going to try to get back.
Can’t thank all involved enough for allowing us to do what we did and also for the opportunity to work with guys I’ve not seen in ages. Hats off to Mike for his megaphone work. You had to be there. And stoned. It’s unrepeatable.