Front Row Experience: The Peopl’s Comedy
On a Wednesday, relatively breezy night, the “Peopl’s Comedy” monthly show took place at the Peopl Club in Old Montreal. Last night was a time a for firsts. For starters, I have never been to this club before, let alone seen this comedy show. On top of it all, because I underestimated the amount of time it would take me to get to the venue by foot, we got there around 8:35pm, just in time to catch the sole seats left in the house…right in front of the stage. My friend and I exchanged a look: We knew we were in for an interesting night. I’ve always wanted to sit in front during a comedy show, just to see how it feels to be put on the spot by the comedians. With a solid lineup comprising of host Jess Salomon, comedians Brad MacDonald, Mike Carrozza, Shawn Stenhouse, Nick Brazao and the headliner DeAnne Smith, I was simply anticipating the kinds of things they may say to my friend and I.
Introduced by Carrozza, laid-back and cheery Salomon quickly addressed us with harmless questions, such as our names and how we know each other (and no, we are not a Lesbian couple). Let’s just say that Simons, our work place, got some free publicity…although, probably under the form of unwanted attention as Miley Cyrus was thrown into the mix (because it’s just too easy). The attention was taken away from us as Salomon invited a lovely three-some, a “girlwich” (two girls sandwiching a grown man, new term coined by moi. Urban Dictionary, here I come!), who made us feel less isolated in the front. Other than engaging in conversation with front row seaters, Solomon’s wit warmed the crowd up, as she talked about how driving in Montreal is like traveling in a vibrator on wheels, among other things that were equally as interesting yet hilarious.
MacDonald was the first comedian to take the stage. He opened with a pun on the word “elliptical”, which he thought gave him the right to tickle people at the gym. Jumping from awkward question/conversations with STM employees, to chasing people who are chasing the bus and his alternative yet traditional outlook on his own death, his unique style of humour was a great way to open the show. He didn’t engage in any banter with those sitting in the first row, which was of great relief to my friend and myself.
However, that didn’t last long, as Carrozza’s set comprised of an unexpected personal learning experience where he asked us all if his heart was on, like the lights and the mic in the room. Because I sometimes (quite often) have the attention span of squirrel, he caught me off-guard and asked me what the magical question was…needless to say, I felt kind of dumb as it took me a few seconds to realize it was the same thing he was repeating six times before I zoned-out. After getting the crowd revved up with his momentum building “Is it on?” act, he coined a new term called “whale sax”, which was his interesting, non-boring, time worthy way of saying “okay” through text message (gotta keep it interesting!), only to ponder on the logistics of a whale playing a saxophone. Going off tangent about ghost dicks, combined with his infectuous laughter seemed to satisfy the crowd thirst for comedy.
But there is always room for more laughter. Stenhouse completed the first half of the show with his emotionless and monotonous character that contributed to his unique style of comedy. I learned that, unless if I won’t my soul to get pissed on for 8 hours a day, I am never working in a call centre (even with the “attractive” 30 minute lunch break). Also, if ever I need a self-esteem boost, maybe I’ll contemplate speaking up in a movie theatre where there just so happens to be a celebrity, like Jamie Foxx, and say that: “He sucks” (or something degrading like that)…just to see his reaction.
During intermission, my friend almost locked herself up in the bathroom. Having avoided potential disaster, we made it back to our couch in one peace after a quick stop at the bar, chatting with Darryl, the charismatic bartender who was serving drinks so fast that I seriously wondered if he had a third arm hidden on his back or something.
For the second half of the show, Salomon got the crowd right back into it with her stories about being gay in comedy. After mentioning that she used to be a lawyer, I couldn’t help but be thankful she made the switch, because she has a natural comedic talent that shouldn’t be wasted! She then introduced comedian Brazao, who cleverly used MacDonald’s and part of Carrozza’s jokes from the first half of the show, playing the victim of MacDonald’s tickling at the gym and encountering a ghost…and its dick. Having majored in psychology, he randomly yells “Pavlov!”, to the great contentment of my friend and I, as we are both psychology minions. I don’t think he realized how giddy we were when he continued yelling “Classical Conditioning”…he got some new (nerdy) fans! Finally, the headliner of the show, DeAnne Smith, took to the stage with an energy and adorability that could kill. For some reason, she kept talking about how she feels that other people nail the important and mundane things in life, unlike herself, supposedly. I thought it was strange because I really felt as though she was nailing it up there. She managed to combine DJ-ing and being a librarian (the unlikely duo) into a free-style rap, and pulled some seriously hilarious puns about her breakup with a Mexican, gay mime that got her into Canada. Her petite figure and explosive energy made her so endearing to the audience. I give her the green light on her potential catch-phrase “Say it to my balls”, especially if she always owns it, like she should own her Malibu rum and pineapple newly invented alcoholic beverage. In the dark and swanky setting, this comedy show was nothing short of bad-ass. Sitting in the front was definitely an interesting experience.Even though it made me nervous and embarrassed at times, I take it all with a grain of salt. After all, there has to be a first for everything!