JFL42 Review: Andy Kindler's Alternative Show, Feat. Nate Bargatze, Michelle Wolf and Adam Christie Second City, Toronto ON, September 25

Jess Salomon, Brandon Ash-Mohammed and Nick Flanagan also showed up at the comedy fest tradition
JFL42 Review: Andy Kindler's Alternative Show, Feat. Nate Bargatze, Michelle Wolf and Adam Christie Second City, Toronto ON, September 25
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Andy Kindler is not happy to be hosting "The Alternative Show." That's what he says, at least — but who can blame him, when he puts together a seamless lineup like last night's at Second City. After delivering some out-there takes about his own career failures and about how Dateline should be honest about whether victims' lives were really of value, Kindler brought on a range of deserving comedians, all with clever things to say.
 
Nick Flanagan started the show with a round of jokes about his mental health — the comic stands in solidarity with women by taking birth control, and by birth control, he means a cocktail of antidepressants that ensure he'll never ejaculate again. His set was amusing (albeit not for the faint of heart).
 
Nate Bargatze proved himself to be a compelling storyteller. The comic grew up feeling dumb: He nearly failed Grade 12 science, were it not for his teacher believing he was so unlikely to go into the field that passing him would not pose a threat to society, and he still doesn't know who Winston Churchill is. His longform comedy is compelling, his delivery humble and his wit biting.
 
Michelle Wolf graced the stage with a range of impassioned takes on faux-feminism. Wolf is here to challenge the idea that all women are beautiful — and that all women should want to be — and her delivery is so convincing we can absolutely get behind it.
 
Proudly declaring herself the second redhead of the night, ("That's how you know you're at an alt-comedy show"), Jess Salomon performed a range of endearing jokes on her queerness and her relationship with her wife and comedy partner, Eman El-Husseini. Salomon can make even the Criminal Code of Canada seem funny.
 
Despite Kindler labelling him a "new kid on the show," Brandon Ash-Mohammed was cool and confident in his delivery of one-liners about his last name, his race and his boyfriend's dog, Science. Yes, his boyfriend named his dog "Science."
 
Rounding out the late night show with astoundingly accurate self-deprecating jokes and impressively high energy, Adam Christie (pictured) proved himself to be the best of the night. The comedian is well-aware that he looks like both "a poor man's John Mulaney" and "Cashier #2," but he has just as many scathing criticisms of himself as he does about the world around him (including people who say the CN tower looks like a dick). Christie is insightful, high-octane, and uproariously funny.