The Best of the Laugh Lounge

I went, courtesy of Day, to the Vancouver International Comedy Festival‘s Best of the Laugh Lounge at Richard’s on Richards last night.

I was a little wary, as I always am of comedy, but ended up really enjoying myself, with one notable exception. The night was hosted by Shecky Grey, whose bit is to be a crotchety old man, banging a cymbal and shouting out ‘NOW WE’RE…’ followed by something outrageous and funny. It would seem, at first thought, that this would drive me nuts, but his delivery and presence is so good, I think I could listen to him go on in such a manner all night.

The first act, who was also up later on, was Wintur Farrell, who was the only disapointment of the night, doing a weird burlesque celebrity-impression thing that was neither funny nor shocking, and hence a failure. She later came out as a ‘Former Miss Ronald MacDonald’, in full clown outfit, which was of course, terrifying, and also, not even a little funny.

Up next was, I believe, ‘The Wetspots’, a highly education sex-romp musical duo, whose songs included ‘Do you take it up the ass’, ‘in the piggy pile’ and a song about the lack of dildoes in Texas (they’re illegal there). Hilarious. These guys should be a mandatory part of any high school sex education class, to make it all fun.

They were followed by Ryan Gilliam, who does a drunken/slurring/forgetful standup bit that was hilarious, particularly once I caught on that the whole thing was a bit. He’d have been helped by clutchin desperately to a more obvious drink. His thing about how drugs get all the cool names vs. things like ‘Brussel Sprouts’ I think was the highlight for me.

I actually can’t remember the who came next and in what order, and indeed, may have already got it wrong, but here’s who else there was:

Some guy (who must have been a stand-in, as he’s not on the bill, I don’t think), who started off well, all punk & energt, but actually blew out his knee on stage, and kind of whimpered off, after a song.

‘The Hot Sauce Posse’, whose first bit, about fellatio on a banana, wasn’t so funny, and then a second bit about 2 straight guys who want to be cool like gay guys, and figuring out what it takes to be gay, was fairly funny, if a little bit too drawn out.

Miss Cookie LaWhore (la-whore-eh) was funny, billed as ‘the hairiest queen in town’, which was indeed true. S/he had fun with the ‘hidden camera’ (dick poking through the outfit), and did this whole ‘everybody get naked’ thing, which sadly, no one really got into (I’m certainly far too prudish to whipping it out at Richards on Richards while amongst my friends). The opening bit, about vomiting while going down on a guy was funny, but in a ‘ewww’ way.

The closers were ‘The Blackout Broadcast’, a faux-news thing that I was hoping would be ‘Daily Show’-style, but were not. They were all very good characters, and deserved some chuckles, but felt somehow off, like they weren’t all quite in sync that night. At a sketch fest, or ‘guerilla theatre’, or some such performance-based festival, they may well have won me over, but they didn’t so much in the confines of what I expect from a comedy show. Also, the ongoing bit about the war on Cybertron felt far too…15 years ago, I guess.

So a fairly mixed bag, based on my reviews, but overall a very good night.