Jon Blair The Company House, Halifax NS, October 24
Published Oct 25, 2014My god, Toronto's Jon Blair blew everyone's minds. On a bill full of standups, he performed a series of genius one-man sketches that left the room reeling.
He began with a ridiculous, Halloween-themed bit in which a hapless vampire is introducing some kind of TV show but simply does not get the fact his teleprompter is full of scary puns like "spooktacular." "Give it up one more time for Bob, your… 'ghost' for the evening? I'm sorry who, if anyone, proofread this copy?" the count asked, exasperated, to gales of laughter. "Because it is lousy with typos. That is not how you spell 'host' or 'spectacular.' I'm just worried we're making a lot of work for people in post-, but I'll keep going." Frustrated, he went on to to introduce some of the musical acts at HPX, like "Spookyo Police Club," "Dyin' Hemsworth," and "Grossface Killah - the word you replaced, was already 'Ghost,' so?..."
Blair transitioned out of that into a brilliant sketch about the marketing meeting at Koodo that brought us the "tiny, little horny Mexican wrestler guy who's really into phones, so he's always talking about phones. He's also always talking about like, banging, or how he wants to bang." It's difficult to convey how impactful this was in a room full of Canadians who probably have never really thought twice about Koodo's bizarre marketing campaign but it was the first major instance of the evening where Blair smartly triggered an "….Ohhhhh….yeah, that's ridiculous" impulse from the audience. who lost it once the premise revealed itself.
Blair then donned a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and a blazer and introduced himself by saying "Hello human audience. My name is Clark. I'm an American human journalist from an American city on earth. I am in your town, to which I travelled through conventional means to review your festival. So as you can see, all of my reasons for being around, are regular."
A Superman sketch with Clark Kent emphasizing how normal and non-super he is via an impromptu set of observational standup held a lot of promise but, with his commitment to the character and some stunningly clever writing, Blair took the premise and made it transcendent. "These days, everyone's always on their smart phones," Clark said. "Have you heard about the iPhone 6? Whatever happened to phone booths?" he asked, suddenly crestfallen. "Why are they so hard to locate?"
The killer was a riff on the three people who spot Superman arriving at the scene of a crime and respectively exclaim, "Look in the sky, it's a bird!" "It's a plane!" "It's Superman!" Clark Kent just doesn't get it. "That first person," Blair said in a perfect, halting rhythm, "Started pointing at the sky and screaming, demanding that everyone stop what they were doing, because they thought they saw a bird. Relax, sir or madam. You're just outside; it's going to happen 100 times through the day. Re-adjust your perspective on what's interesting."
Just devastatingly funny and smart; Jon Blair is an ingenious revelation.