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Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Comedy MIX

What's So Funny? is pre-empted this week due to CFRO's semi-annual membership drive (say, if you are a member, it may be time to renew your annual membership to help keep the station afloat; and if you're not a member, why not join? You can do it here online). But I thought I'd give a shout-out to the best damn comedy club in the city, The Comedy MIX (I have no idea why MIX is all in caps but I'm sure there's a reason).

I went to the early show last night to see Moshe Kasher from Los Angeles. I'd never seen the man perform before but have heard him on both Marc Maron's WTF podcast and Dave Shumka's and Graham Clark's Stop Podcasting Yourself. He's an intriguing character with quite a backstory but who knows how good he'd be as a stand-up. Or, more accurately, how I'd like him as a stand-up.

Well, I'm here to report he's damn good. And a real original comedic voice. He doesn't come out and tell obvious jokes in the sense that they're not jokes with a tried and true format (no set-up/punchline). He talks honestly (we can imagine, anyway, especially if you've heard him interviewed) about his life and thoughts but there's no meandering, no waiting for laughs. Practically every sentence elicits laughter. And every other sentence elicits groans on top of the laughter, which he thrives on. He'll pretend to be incredulous with the crowd at their reaction or non-reaction, but that's just grist for the old mill. It's part of his schtick. At no point in his show did he lose the crowd, yet listening to him kvetch about it you'd think he was bombing.

He's here for one more night (tonight, Saturday Oct. 22), two shows. I highly recommend you check him out. The whole show is top-notch. Charlie Demers hosts with his subversively intellectual material (masked as lowbrow to appease the great unwashed) and former local boy Phil Hanley flirts with the ladies and kills with his superbly-crafted one-liners and crowd work.

This type of show isn't a fluke at the MIX. I'm constantly impressed with their line-ups. They bring in great comics from afar and surround them with the city's best, who are headliners in their own right. As a comedy regular, I think that's the way to go. Vancouver's comics are, by and large, as good as LA's or New York's but the pool is much shallower, obviously. If you go see live comedy in town more than a couple times a year, you'll probably catch most of them. So it's refreshing to see new, polished faces from outside our area. And the locals get various weeks during the year where they get to headline, too. Win-win.

Two weeks ago Tom Rhodes headlined the club. Last week it was Chris Porter. This week, they brought in Kasher. On Thursday, Doug Benson does a special one-night show. Then November sees Ian Bagg, Ryan Hamilton, Tom Segura and Glenn Wool all travelling to town to play there. Then the hilarious Chad Daniels the first week of December. I think I'll be spending a lot of time there in the coming weeks. You should, too.

1 comment:

Monica Hamburg said...

I love the Comedy Mix. I've seen nothing but great shows since it switched over. And Moshe Kasher is wonderful - I caught him at last year's Comedy Fest. I managed to see Chris Porter here in Vancouver a number of times. He's fantastic.