The Alternative Show with Andy Kindler Just for Laughs, Montreal QC, July 26

The popular late night showcase featured Step Tolev, Ron Funches, Tom Henry, Sophie Buddle and Guy Branum
The Alternative Show with Andy Kindler Just for Laughs, Montreal QC, July 26
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What Andy Kindler said over the course of the hour-long Alternative Show is incredibly unclear. The seasoned comedian and annual deliverer of the iconic State of the Industry Address has very few rules — he bounces around stage stringing words together in a way that makes almost no sense. Occasionally, he'll drop a line about an overdone comedic trope or overrated comedian — last night's victims were "Anglophones do this, but Francophones do this!" jokes and Dane Cook, respectively. The rest of his set was a blur of confusion.
 
Kindler is a pure joy to watch. The man is wild, outrageous, and incredibly charming, and his selection of comics to perform at Theatre Ste-Catherine couldn't have made for a better night of comedy.
 
Steph Tolev started the night off with a series of animated, self-deprecating remarks about her broad back, before diving into a story on a commercial she booked for Little Caesars pizza. The casting director wanted an "extremely masculine woman," asked her to show up without makeup, put her in a suit and slapped spanx over her breasts, only to lead to the revelation, "Why didn't you just hire a man?"
 
Ron Funches delivered a heartfelt few minutes on the pains of living with his 16-year-old son and 63-year-old mother, both of whom behave like teenagers, only the latter, he says, can drink and knows his every weakness. Funches can make just about anything funny, especially when followed by his infamous giggle.
 
Toronto comic Tom Henry does deadpan delivery better than most, and his series of observational one-liners landed well, one after the other. The man knows how to hold silence in the room and break it with a punny statement about something dumb, like shark week ("Shark not weak, shark strong," he claims.)
 
Born and raised in Vancouver, Sophie Buddle has become something of a Canadian star over the last few years. During her few minutes on stage, she showed the audience why. She has something clever to say about just about anything sex-related, including why her boyfriend's schoolgirl kink is so wrong.
 
Guy Branum closed out the evening with notes on the state of American politics ("It is not a dystopian nightmare... yet"). His comedy is smart, mildly political and deeply relatable to anyone feeling anxious about the state of the world today.