Comedy in the Pool, a three-day comedy festival at Infinitheatre (5300 Rue St. Dominique) kicked off Thursday with a splash! Greeted by the friendly box office staff sporting Mckibbin’s t-shirts, I walked to take my seat in the deep end of the pool. The vibe of the venue was interesting, like an 80’s horror movie meets a school gym. The lighting rigs and tech set up were simple and effective. Converted mainly for theatre performances, it makes its debut as a stage fit for a kick ass roster of Montreal comedians.
Mike FM’s “A Little Bit Zany” Train Wreck Crew hosted the evening, with David Rain as the MC. Lili White opened the show with a couple of anecdotes about the living on a farm and the “foul play” surrounding her pet chicken Clucky going missing. Ending on a bit about cats, this lady is a total animal lover but I wanted to hear her talkabout something a little more racy.
The smiley Steve Nash gave a colorful performance with some fun impressions of George Bush, Arnold Schwartzenegger, and juvenile delinquents in St. Leo. My favorite punch-line of his set was, “I was not the only stiff one that came in a box” when talking about sex at a funeral…which seemed to fly right over the heads of some of the older audience members, but I got it Steve…and I laughed my ass off!
Up next was Mike Meo, opening with a rant about separatists and language politics in Quebec, referencing Star Wars and saying, “They speak English in a galaxy far, far away!” His set was interrupted twice, once by a cell phone and then by a bunch of change hitting the wooden planks of the audience riser, but he took it all in stride. Ending on a high note with his bit about people that look for racism in everything, who knew that “White Power Colgate” could be such a well-constructed metaphor?
With an entourage helping him to the stage, we were charmed by the likes of Michael Lifshitz. He did an amazing job connecting with the audience with hilarious misconceptions about people with disabilities. His lighthearted venting about people taking handicapped parking spots because they just had to “run in quick” and numerous examples of difficulties with doors had the audience cracking up.
After the 15-minute intermission, Leonard Yelle of the Train Wreck Crew took the stage. He shocked the audience into laughter with his detailed stories about lube-less prostate exams and catching his children rubbing one out. Ending on a bit about his wife and 50 Shades of Grey, he kept the audience entertained with his raunchy and laid-back persona.
The petite and bubbly Rena Hundert shared her dating experiences with us, talking about fuck buddies turning into “what the fuck, buddy?” Her set continued with some creative plot re-writes to Disney movies and ended with numerous “Elaine-like” dance poses as she made her way out of the pool. Jeff Laflamme aka “Jean Guy Piscine” greeted the audience in his full swimming gear and thick French accent. Banging on the stage with his flippers to inject some energy into the audience seemed to be pretty effective. I enjoyed when he used his goggles as a hands-free tool for his cell phone. Halfway through his set he lost the thick accent, shifting into his closing bit about the new twenty-dollar bills, saying that new Quebec money would be good because “it will separate easily.” The quick talking Heavy T surprised us by revealing his love and affection for Bon Jovi. He talked about the concert being like a strip-joint for women, and gave us some fun facts about men and women in relationships that would cheat on their partners with Bon Jovi.
The closing act of the night was Dan Derkson, who did a great job connecting with the audience, and even stopped two dudes from leaving just as his set was about to start. I could relate to him as he talked about his superpower, “I have a superpower, when I speak French, everyone around me starts speaking English!” And my favorite part of the entire show, which didn’t even come from a performer, was when Dan singled out a guy clapping at one of his jokes. The man responded quickly by saying, “I’m sorry, I’m not a born leader.” Even Dan was doubled over in laughter, taking a little breather before going into the rest of his set. He ended by opening up to the audience about the end of his 10 year marriage, talking about all of the different ways he’s tried to get over the heartbreak, and announcing to the women in the audience, “I’m full trained right now, I put the toilet seat down and when I go grocery shopping I buy two of everything!”
All in all a great show, although I wished there was a larger crowd in attendance to soak up all of the pool puns and butt-hole jokes. I’m sure that will change tonight with Kate Davis on the bill.
Hope to see you there!