Nick Thune Cafe Cleopatra, Montreal QC, July 29

Nick Thune Cafe Cleopatra, Montreal QC, July 29
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Nick Thune has been doing his show, American Babe, under the "Off-JFL" sibling series banner for a few days in Montreal. These shows happen in much looser venues, even dicey ones like this one, and Thune tackles this first — he opens by telling us it's his third time doing Off-JFL, having not yet been invited to the prime-time party. He insists he planned it that way, not wanting to be "too demanding," but if possible — "Can I do the show in a dirty strip club?" And it's true. This show is above Cafe Cleopatra, one of Montreal's raunchiest, and doesn't that sound kind of awesome?
 
Thune launches sprightly into his set, and there's no stumbling. If there's unrehearsed material here, it doesn't feel that way. He sounds tight, polished and smart, and he begins by succeeding at storytelling — arguably the hardest way to tell jokes on stage. As he points out into his show, he's just done "two stories in 40 minutes." And we're suckers for listening? Not at all.
 
He tells them with verve, the first being about his dog that ate a pot brownie "about the size of a VHS tape." The second, about his insistence his first-born will be a boy, no matter what the doctor says — a hotshot doctor told he and his wife they were having a girl, and Thune simply won't have it. He hustles for second opinions, in search of a "baby penis." And the dick jokes don't end there. One time he peed beside NBA legend Shawn Kemp, and he "had to look."
 
These are great yarns, and we're all on board. Occasionally, though, he heads back to same well; it's the "I'm a doofus who has married up" POV. His stuff is working best when he strays from that, but you can't blame someone for dearly loving their spouse. It can, at times, be a tired vessel — minor complaint.
 
Smart dick jokes, crisp patter and the loving, rolling eyes of Nick Thune's wife. That's a general way to describe American Babe, and there's a very good chance he'll be "On-JFL" as soon as next year.