Lewis Black / Kathleen Madigan Massey Hall, Toronto ON, September 14
Published Sep 15, 2017"Trump is good for comedy the same way that a stroke is good for a nap," Lewis Black said to uproarious laughter as he began his Massey Hall show, co-headlined by Kathleen Madigan. "We are at the intersection of reality and satire."
The Trump administration has reached a point of complete oversaturation in comedy. Shows like Saturday Night Live and The President Show mockingly impersonate Trump on a weekly basis. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and pretty much all the other late night shows tear apart the latest political news every evening. Standup comics have been making fun of Trump since the primaries in early 2016.
With all that content, finding a new angle on the horrifying mess that is American politics is not an easy task, but Lewis Black and Kathleen Madigan were more than up for the challenge. Eviscerating everyone from Melania Trump to Rick Perry without falling into any of the usual tropes, the two of them had their fans at Massey Hall bursting into multiple standing ovations.
Lewis Black went on first, sinking his teeth into each of Trump's cabinet members. His theory as to why on earth Rick Perry was chosen to be the Head of the Department of Energy (a department he wanted to shut down because he didn't see the point of it) was the best highlight of Black's whole tirade, but his takedowns of Kellyanne Conway and Ben Carson were also hilariously incisive. A few sections in the middle of his set made people applaud in agreement more than it made them giggle, but his rage-filled rant about people who treat their pets like people hit hard as he closed his performance.
After an intermission, Kathleen Madigan killed by recounting how her Irish Catholic sister reacted to the fact that Trump doesn't drink, acting out how millennials would react if Trump actually brought back coal mining, and speculating that Melania Trump is actually a shapeshifter that can literally turn into a panther at any moment. She was also hysterical as she performed her slightly older bits, from her special Bothering Jesus, about healthcare and staying at her parents' retirement villa in Florida, and she brought down the house with her joke about how Leprechaun is the first movie in the suggested list after you watch her special on Netflix.
Following Black's and Madigan's fantastic sets, Canadian comic Mike Wilmot more than held his own during his surprise guest appearance. His joke about how no one would notice if someone bombed Chester Station on the TTC in Toronto got one of the biggest laughs of the night, as did his humorously hyperbolic material about living with his menopausal wife.