Courtney Gilmour JFL42, Toronto ON, September 20
Published Sep 20, 2018No one in recent Canadian comedy history has had a faster rise than Courtney Gilmour. Having captured the title at the 2017 Homegrown Comics Competition at Just For Laughs in Montreal, Gilmour is headlining several shows at JFL42 for the the first time.
For her first set of the festival, Gilmour invited an ASL interpreter on stage to sign for hearing-impaired audience members, just one effort to be more inclusive in her comedy offerings. (It's also a great indicator of how your set is going if the interpreter cracks up while simultaneously trying to sign your jokes, as this one did a few times.)
Gilmour is an amputee, and makes the most of it in her comedy, breaking the ice with some maybe-nervous audience members with a comment that her friends refuse to call her by her chosen nickname, "Nubsy." Gilmour is a charming presence and she makes her matter-of-fact comedy about daily struggles — overly helpful cab drivers, overly curious strangers, etc. — extremely relatable.
After a good chunk of material related to fingers (nose picking, engagement rings), Gilmour rhetorically asked the audience if she was gonna do her whole set about her lack of hands. Nope! She also has a fake leg!
Gilmour's leg has actually become Canadian-comedy-famous (not the same as actually famous) since she broke her previous prosthetic on the way to a comedy gig last year. She's been fundraising for her "dream leg" — a $100,000 piece of military grade hardware — and unveiled it at tonight's show, showing off some of its features, including a remote control.
Not all of Gilmour's material was amputee-related — she did a significant chunk on the perils of dating, with her own spin — but it's a lot of it, and that's where the next step in Gilmour's comedy evolution will come. She's very talented and her 45 minutes on stage was plenty entertaining, but she's not yet the comic she's sure to evolve into in the next couple of years. But when she does, a hundred people at the Comedy Bar in Toronto will be able to say we saw her before she was the biggest comedy star in the world, the night the dream leg was unveiled.
Anyone interested in helping with Courtney Gilmour's ongoing fundraising effort for the "Dream Leg" can find out more and make a donation here.