JFL42 Monthly Ft. Kyle Radke, Ali Hassan, Chris Robinson Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, April 27
Published Apr 28, 2016Though Just For Laughs is famous for putting on some of the best comedy shows in the country, this showcase was thoroughly underwhelming. Aside from a few decent jokes from Ali Hassan and Chris Robinson, the show was disappointingly bland and forgettable from start to finish.
Host Dan Bingham started the show on a low note with a joke about being annoyed that items have genders in French. Though the premise was pretty distinctive, the bit came off as hokey and forced because his punch line about objects lacking sexual organs wasn't delivered with enough commitment. Comparatively, his material about his Quebecois friend who comically messes up everyday phrases like "This guy's the shit" was better, but not especially funny.
Following Bingham, Ali Hassan delivered an amusing set that focused on his family. His comparison of his angelic stepdaughters to his boorish four-year-old who refuses to stop touching himself was one of the funniest highlights of the night, as was his observational comedy about his son's inexplicable Pakistani accent. Contrastingly, Michelle Shaughnessy was tedious. Though she had a somewhat atypical stage presence that reminded me of a nerdy Parker Posey, her material about her mother deciding to start being sexy at 60 years old was lackluster. The only exception to the flatness of her performance was the chuckle-worthy line her mother said when she compared her vagina to an airport: "The airport is open: it just doesn't take soft landings."
Chris Robinson then pumped up the energy of the show with his consistently unique humour. His material about living with his grandmother was very genuine, and consequently it stood out in the otherwise dull show. His anecdote about his granny waking him up before his alarm to make sure he didn't miss it was simple but very funny, and his story about trying to masturbate despite his granny making horrifying noises during her night terrors was even funnier. Additionally, Robinson's bit about trying to create racial slurs that effectively offend white people was very smart.
To end the show, Kyle Radke performed a set that was generically satisfactory. His joke about Polish people being at the bottom of the rankings of white people was acceptably funny, as was his bit about how he would pay the CBC to read a list of all the people he hates if he won the lottery. However, his humour about dumb girls and how dating is the worst was hacky, and his delivery was largely unremarkable.