Fortune Feimster JFL42, Toronto ON, September 21
Published Sep 21, 2018Fortune Feimster returned to Toronto for the first time in three years and was met with a very enthusiastic audience, keen to support the veteran of Last Comic Standing and The Mindy Show.
After asking how many people had seen her before, she polled the audience if we were keen on new or "classic" material — a red flag, to be honest, if the classics are more than three years old. But Feimster's comedy doesn't rely on being current; the bulk of her set concerned life as a lesbian growing up in North Carolina, a world of 21st birthdays held at Hooters.
Feimster is a warm and open-hearted performer, and she's a good storyteller for material based on her early life, up to the point that a Lifetime movie prompted her coming out. Very little of her comedy reflects her life now — she did do some material about early dating experience — which made her set seem both timeless and less fresh. Life as a flannel-clad lesbian in image-obsessed Hollywood — she's been in L.A. for 15 years now — would seem pretty ripe for comic material.
She attempted some crowd work that largely failed; a search for people with interesting jobs yielded only responsibly employed folks (teacher, nurse) that are hard to make fun of, and a married couple's story about duelling Young and the Restless impressions was interminable.
However, her closer, "the time I touched a penis," brought the house down.
Matteo Lane — a JFL42 headliner in his own right — was a strong opener for Feimster; he raved, seemingly spontaneously, about the reality show Ghost Adventures and had a truly great joke about how Americans have way too high an opinion of Montreal.