Bonnie McFarlane Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, June 5
Published Jun 06, 2015Bonnie McFarlane's performance was witty yet spontaneous. With the accompaniment of several enjoyable opening acts, she delighted the audience in the intimate Cabaret Room of Comedy Bar with her well-written observational material and top-notch crowd work.
The beauty of McFarlane's set derived from her ability to be as sharp as she was playful. For every time she shared a keen insight about how strange the people who post Yelp reviews are, or cleverly explained why she doesn't mind being called a "feminazi," she would comically remark about the noises from the other side of the wall or joke about the professional poker player in the second row.
McFarlane was equally comfortable with these opposing sides, and she both combined and alternated between them with ease throughout the night. Many of the highlights showcased this ability: her blue material about how breastfeeding feels like how a man would feel feeding his kid using his penis was as acerbic as it was silly, and her crowd work about me being weirdly young for a comedy critic was jabbing yet light-hearted. In addition, her anecdote about her mentally handicapped sister being offended by the word "retarded" but strangely fine with the n-word was hilarious, as was her explanation of why she hates people who use voice recording software to compose their texts.
Bonnie McFarlane's openers were also entertaining. Host Evan Desmarais did some fantastic material about his experience living in hostels in Australia, the adhesive qualities of semen, and his googly eye earrings. Moreover, his bit about the fact that giving a guy a blow job is on his bucket list even though he's straight was fabulous. After him, Camille Cote rationalized why it was alright for her to enjoy hip-hop despite the frequent sexism in lyrics, and did some amusing material about the emotional fluctuations she has when she watches late night news while high.
Unlike the other comedians, Mini Holmes was forgettable. Her material about the Toronto Maple Leafs was unexceptional, and the only notable laugh she got was when she told the crowd that they were mediocre but she was great. Thankfully, she wasn't insipid enough to significantly tarnish an otherwise superb show. In contrasting, Rob Mailloux was very funny. His joke about how he used to want to become famous enough to have his high school renamed after him was awesome, and his material about how to convince Americans to dramatically decrease the number of guns in their country was wonderfully edgy.