Chris Locke JFL42, Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, September 27

Chris Locke JFL42, Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, September 27
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Hyped up for his hometown headlining show, Chris Locke was a whirling dervish of jokes and ideas at JFL42. He possesses a rare self-conscious confidence that opens him up to audiences who stay with his every tangent and aside.
 
A new dad, Locke let us into his complex world, where he's balancing the responsibilities of being a role model while also trying to hang onto a life where he can sit on the couch and gorge on chips or blast his stomach at an Indian buffet, forego any scheduled tasks, and simply nap the rest of the afternoon.
 
His stories about having a home birth were vivid, with pointed observations about the courage and strength of women like his wife. He also took some loving jabs at Toronto and other Canadian cities, as well as the bizarre craze of elaborate potato chip flavouring we're enduring. (Seriously, will someone please manufacture Locke's "Ribfest '98" chips?) A strong physical performer, he often punctuates punch lines with a facial expression or gesture that is always just the right amount of spicy Dorito dust.
 
It was a marvel to see him let loose with a bombardment of jokes, one after the other, all well-crafted and provocative in their own way, furthering the notion that Chris Locke is one of North America's greatest working standup comedians.