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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tom Segura at Yuk Yuk's and a bit of Trevor Boris

Day two of the comedy fest. I caught the early show at Yuk Yuk's and it was a good one. The crowd was hot, as it usually is at Yuks, and Tim Rykert did a great job of hosting, coming out with energy, doing some solid material (even if I'd heard most of it for years) and keeping the show moving. The first guest was a newbie, who must be extremely thankful she got into the festival when others more experienced can't. Theresa Travatto was her name (at least phonetically). She did fine. Maybe even great if you factor in she's only been at it for three months.

Next up was Dave Shumka, who I featured in the Straight this week. Funny as always, but it's time to move on to some new jokes, methinks. He's perfected his 15 minutes, or however long he did tonight. I was talking to Rykert after the show, who admits he, himself, needs to write more. He quoted a Toronto comic (whose name escapes me) who said that if comics wrote one new minute per week, they'd have a new 60 minutes per year. When you put it like that, it doesn't seem so hard. Surely they all have fleeting funny thoughts in a given day, so the idea of shaping that into a funny minute in a week seems doable.

Kelly Dixon followed. He's one of my favourites. He's a real pro who appeals to all crowds, I'm guessing. Why I haven't seen him opening for big names at the River Rock or taking apart a topic on The Debaters, like virtually every other comic in the country, is beyond me. The guy is good.

Then it was time for the headliner, Tom Segura. I last saw Segura opening for Jay Mohr at the River Rock earlier this year so it was nice to see him in an expanded set. I'm not one who believes you have to agree with a comedian to find them funny, but it so happens I agreed with lots Tom said. His takes on judging people, tattoos, headware and cyclists were dead-on. I won't go so far as to agree with him on owning midgets, but that's just me.

After the show, he and I sat out on Burrard St. and recorded a 35-minute interview, which I'll air on Sunday's show. More on that on Sunday.

I booted it over to the Cultch to catch the last 15 minutes of Trevor Boris's set. Boris somehow scored his own show, a filming for a DVD. How long has he been at it? A couple years? And he already has his own show and DVD? I haven't been a fan of the gay farmer from what I saw on TV, but felt I owed him a fair chance because live is so often way better. Okay, sneaking in for the last 15 minutes of a show isn't exactly a fair chance. I can't say I came away a fan, but he was better than on TV, I'll give him that. Still, his act centres around one theme: he's gay. Got it.

I mentioned yesterday that Arj Barker said in an interview in the Province that he started out doing stereotypical material on his ancestry, but quickly changed. I hope Boris moves beyond the gay theme. It's not original or all that interesting. At least to me. But hey, it's working for him, so what do I know? He's got his own show at a semi-major comedy festival and a three-camera shoot for a DVD.

One of my pet peeves is comics who laugh at their own jokes, and he does it incessantly. Kelly Dixon laughs on stage, too, but he's not laughing at his own material so much as laughing at the absurd situation he's describing. At least, that's the way it comes across. With Boris, it's a kind of aren't-I-an-incorrigible-rapscallion? kind of thing, which is just off-putting. But the guy was better than I expected. And I could see liking him down the road once he settles into his craft and doesn't find everything he says so damned amusing.

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