The Ethnic Show premiered on Wednesday night as part of the 34th edition of the Just For Laughs Festival. While hundreds of people flocked towards Club Soda for the second of two shows, a young child accompanied by her parents found herself sitting right next to the stage. Each time a comedian noticed her, they could not believe their eyes. But there she was, sitting innocently with her parents at a not-so innocent show.
Having a child in the crowd opened a whole new bag of jokes from which the comedians could pick. Comedian and Italian-American representative of the night Dom Irrera wanted to make a joke about a cartoon so badly, only to find out that the child didn’t watch cartoons. Host and Montrealer Rachid Badouri told the kid that it was past her bed time midway through the show and other comedians took a jab at her but more specifically her father (#parentingskills101).
Each comedian that set foot on the stage last night killed their set; and this was only the second of 19 performances yet to come.
Badourri kick-started the show, welcoming the diversity in ethnicities and cultures in the room. While specifically addressing the Americans in the audience, Badouri had to ask them the obvious questions on the minds of millions of people:”What the hell, Donald Trump?!”, joking that America was going from Obama’s “Yes We Can” to Trumps’ “Oh No You Didn’t.” The French comedian’s contagious enthusiasm and energy warmed up the crowd’s cheekbones right in time for the first act of the night, Greek-American representative Yannis Pappas. The Brooklyn native proposed a solution for world peace: eliminate the ugliest languages and keep those with the most sensual tones. He nailed Scottish, Arab, Japanese and German accents, amongst many others that had the crowd in tears. The German impression deeply comforted the following comedian Jessica Kirson, who as a Jew. said that she felt a whole lot safer after it.
Kirson’s humour was certainly the most unique of the night. What set her apart from the pack was her quirky little side bar that she took any time she felt some members of the audience didn’t fully understand her jokes. She would often turned her head away from the crowd and voiced her internal thoughts into the mic, comforting herself through pep talks and then losing herself in tangents about her breakfast and her outfit.
Dom Irrera made his way to the stage eyes half-closed; an indication of gradual death according to him and apparently his doctor too. He took pride in his Italian heritage and listed many stereotypical Italian terms one after the other, gaining speed as he spoke but never missing a beat.
After the intermission, Puerto Rican Gina Brillon talked about the pitfalls of being single; but she doesn’t have to deal with single-hood anymore since she has a boyfriend. Instead, she joked about her past experience of being hit on by a homeless person on the street followed by how she allegedly accepted that invitation. Bottom line, ladies, if you want a self-esteem boost, go to her home town of the Bronx. They’ll hit on you even if you look a like broom with boobs according to her.
Nemr, a Lebanese-American, showcased the differences between American and Arab parenting having lived in both countries himself. According to him, when an Arab places his hand over his belt, it means a real good lesson will be coming your way.
Nigerian-American Godfrey ended the show with a banging swear-fest; let’s just say the child learned a whole new kind of vocabulary last night. This shameless McDonalds lover has it out for vegans and vegetarians. If plants could make noise, let’s just say you’d find him protesting about plant rights on the street to get his revenge. And he did what some may consider the unthinkable and attempted a Bill Cosby joke. Has it been long enough? Too soon? Doesn’t matter, he went there; the rest is said and done.
For the Ethnic Show’s first night of back-to-back performances, the rest of the fest seems to be promising and the laughs will keep coming and coming.
The Ethnic Show will run from July 13-28. For more information, visit: http://www.hahaha.com/en/show/ethnic-show