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Friday, December 24, 2010

Global Comedians

I got a sneak peak at Global Comedians the other night. This is a special that will air across Canada on Boxing Day (check local listings but I'm pretty sure it'll be on at 10 pm). It seems every other comedy festival in the country has a TV special, so it's about time Vancouver's got some air time.

It stands out from the others, too. Not only is it gorgeously shot, but it's also way more intimate. No glossy big stage here. They shot this at the Cultch, which isn't big to begin with, and it looks like it could have been in a tiny little club somewhere. That's not a bad thing. Interspersed between acts are clips of the individual comics on a photo shoot and seated together on a Last Supper-type meal. It's nice seeing them tell each other stories, although that's not why we're watching. Any show featuring stand-up comics rises or falls with the actual stand-up comedy.

Hosted by Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall and Newsradio fame, the special features Britain's Matt Kirshen (and one-time What's So Funny? guest), Australia's James Smith, USA's Maria Bamford, Canada's Mae Martin, and TV's Jon Dore (and one-time What's So Funny? guest). Not a bad line-up at all. Not your usual suspects so a wider audience might get to see a face or two they're not familiar with. It would have been nice to have a Vancouver comic on the show. They're good enough to make the other festivals' TV galas, so why not in their hometown?

But I'm not here to critique what isn't. The show looks fantastic and the comics are funny. That's good enough for me. It's a shame they felt the need to bleep every curse word, though, when I recall the Sopranos airing in prime time on CTV. Hell, I remember the Kids in the Hall getting away with the odd curse word at 8 pm on CBC in the 1980s. But whatever.

I developed quite a crush on Mae Martin when I was at the show. Seeing her on TV had me scratching my head trying to figure out who she reminded me of as she was singing her ode to showers and Alanis Morissette. It was driving me nuts until it hit me – Bob Saget! She doesn't have the rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness that Saget does, but her little asides and quick laughs on her own lyrics remind me totally of him. And in a good way, I should point out.

I don't imagine Boxing Day at 10 pm is the greatest time slot, but it'll probably be repeated at some point I would imagine. Hopefully it'll get enough people watching that they'll get to do it all over again next September. And who knows, maybe a Vancouver comic might get a shot then.

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