Monday, August 01, 2011

July 27, 2011 at the Rivoli

It is August now.

August -- the fullness of summer, the stupor of the year, easy living for the rich and sweaty trudge for the rest of us.

The trudge was made manic and absurd Wednesday July 27 2011 at the Rivoli in Toronto. I saw who was on the bill and made my way down to the club.

Here's the list:

Winston Spear

Ron Sparks

Dwayne Hill

Rob Pue

Kevin MacDonald

Paul Irving

Boyd Banks

Mike Wilmot

That night an all-star cast of comics performed in front of eight paying customers.

Now lesser comics would have seen the size of the audience and refuse to go on stage. Not these intrepid performers. Perhaps it was because there were spouses and friends in the audience, but the comics put on one hell of a show. Mike Wilmot, who had just returned from a nine week tour of Australia, addressed a corner of empty chairs. I paraphrase: "I just played sold out theatres and here I am back in Toronto. Good old Toronto -- where you get off the plane and a midget punches you in the cock -- WELCOME HOME."

It's always a treat to see Boyd and Paul Irving. Their brand of truth is not for the faint of heart. At one point I was laughing and crying at the same time. Boyd is the only man alive who can grab my ass without me taking offense. I remember Boyd and his dad at the Yuks on Bay Street in the late 80s grabbing my ass and giggling away. Like father, like son. Twenty five years later Boyd grabbed my ass and I felt nostalgic. I realized my ass has sagged a bit. I felt like apologizing but didn't. We're both still alive and that's good enough for me.
Great to see veteran comics, uncompromising, acclaimed comics, riffing and givin' it like it was 1999. This is the art of standup.

Do yourself a favour and go see some live comedy. Put the remote down, step away from the internet and live.