Joe DeRosa / Rob Mailloux Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, May 9
Published May 11, 2015The Saturday night late show audience at Joe DeRosa's show was drunk and unpredictable. Nonetheless, the comedians dealt with it really well, so it was still an enjoyable show. DeRosa's hour was sharply written and comically morbid. Over the course of his show, DeRosa explained why he hates funerals, compared the unfair randomness of death to a giant terrible bingo game, and talked about the grim thought process he goes through every time he smokes a cigarette. Likewise, he spoke about the ridiculousness of dying by falling into a wood chipper, as well as how easy it is for murderers to not get caught. Additionally, DeRosa did some material about his hypochondria, his hatred of Arizona, and how Prozac allows him to accept himself as he is.
Given this profile of DeRosa's sullen neuroticism, one might picture DeRosa as a nervous or bitter man. However, this is the opposite of DeRosa's stage presence: his delivery was cheerfully confident and casual throughout the show. The only notable fault in his hilarious performance was when he messed up a punchline during his bit about his anxiety, and dwelled on his mistake for a little too long. Nevertheless, it was still outstanding material: his explanation of how our loss of innocence about marriage, employment, religion, and the government causes anxiety was as incisive as it was funny.
Opener Rob Mailloux faced a drunk heckler who repeatedly interrupted his gutsy premises before he could get to their punch lines. The producer of the show told the man to leave, but backed off when he realized the only way to get him out of the theatre would be to forcibly remove him. Mailloux took the adversity in his stride. He found out that the heckler's favourite comedian was Dave Chappelle, then comically stated the obvious: "Wasn't there ever a time where a Chappelle bit started with something edgy, then turned it around to make it funny?" Aside from his fantastic encounter with the heckler, Mailloux joked about how relieved his friend who has her period all the time as a result of a horrible disorder will be when they remove the tampon tax, and awful naming of the Washington Redskins. Conversely, opener Chris Allin was dull. He did the minimum job of warming up the crowd, but his delivery was generic and his material was forgettable. His set got deservedly inconsistent laughs, and weighed down an otherwise fabulous show.