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Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16: Byron Bertram

I'm spent. What a comedy weekend it was here in Vancouver. Friday night started with the Just For Laughs comedy tour at the Centre. A solid, if unspectacular, start to the weekend. There was no one I hated, but no one blew me away, either. Five comics performed and I present them to you in order of preference: Pete Zedlacher (Canada), David O'Doherty (Ireland), Hal Crittenden (Britain), Finesse Mitchell (USA) and Danny Bhoy (Scotland). As soon as that show ended, I raced up to the Vogue where Louis CK was 15 minutes into his act. Man, what a forceful and funny comic he is. Seeing him immediately after the JFL acts made you realize what was missing in the earlier show. The five comics there all knew how to make a crowd laugh (and some were laughing uncontrollably), but it didn't have the same impact as CK. His comedy is more... real, I guess. Or at least he presents it that way. It was a great show.

Saturday night was my most anticipated show of the season in Dame Edna at River Rock. She was supposed to be here last April but had to cancel. I know some people think she's just a drag act, and old-school at that, but she's so much more, and if you've never seen her live, you owe it to yourself to check her out next time she's in town. That being said, it seemed like she had an off-night. Still plenty of laughs, but too many lulls, too.

And how do I top it off? Well, how about standup comic and street performer Byron Bertram? Boo-ya! He'll be making a return visit to What's So Funny?, but it'll be my first time interviewing him. I can't remember what happened last time. I think I was sick, so trusty manservant Kevin took over the hosting duties. So let's just say this is his first real visit to the show. I'm hoping he does the whole thing in various accents. The guy is amazing.

Hey, you know what else is kinda amazing? His father, Gordie Bertram, it turns out, was (or is... I guess we'll find out) a jazz musician who played with my jazz musician father. Not only that, but Kelly Dixon's jazz musician uncle (Frank Mansell) also played with my dad. That's neither here nor there, but whatever. It's not all about you.

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