Josh Gondelman Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, July 2

Josh Gondelman Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, July 2
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Josh Gondelman was sweet, snappy and smart. Along with three other fantastic comedians, the Last Week Tonight writer entertained the Thursday crowd at Comedy Bar with his hour of ridiculous anecdotes and well-written observations.
 
Gondelman endeared himself to the audience throughout the night with his awkward intelligence. Many of his jokes were peppered with nerdy subject matter: he made a Spinal Tap reference in his closer about a penis-numbing spray used to prevent premature ejaculation, he related a story about discussing Otto Von Bismarck with a homeless man, and he joked about how Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only master of putting a blanket over one's legs.
 
Additionally, Gondelman made his comedy pop with witty, succinct punch lines, which were clearly the result of him intensely polishing his written material. His bit about how unappealing things sound if you describe them in terms of their components perfectly exemplified this ability to create such sharp nuggets of humour — he recounted his friend describing coffee as "ground bean water," then depicted beer as merely "bread water," and better yet, describe a turtle as "an iguana in a bike helmet." This clever sensibility was evident in his mediation of an argument about gay marriage between a bunch of four-year-olds, and in his joke about accidentally getting married to his Jewish girlfriend by knocking over a glass while they were kissing.
 
Gondelman's openers were also wonderful. Host Luke Gordonfield performed some decently funny material about the fact that he looks like a villain from an '80s movie, his embracing of living life as a married man, and why he lost 40 pounds. Chris Locke followed him with several jokes about how slothful his lifestyle is, as well as a new bit about how the pizza parties we had as children are the reason why we binge pizza as adults. The latter wasn't fully fleshed out, but the set was funny nonetheless. Lastly, Mark Forward thrilled the audience with his strong stand about why we shouldn't let anyone live past 100, his imitation of the ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlan, complete with a heartfelt rendition of "Angel," and his hilariously dark bit about visiting hospices and badly playing recorder for people as they die. In the same reckless yet silly fashion, he also comically berated the crowd for their half-hearted enthusiasm, and silently mouthed a hilariously angry speech with vulgar gestures.