Mark Forward Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, July 4
Published Jul 05, 2015Top notch Canadian comedian Mark Forward and his hilarious cohost Eric Andrews enthralled the Comedy Bar crowd with their rare live edition of their superb podcast. Filled with weird games, audience participation, and lots of absurd riffing, this mother-themed episode was a riveting adventure.
To start the episode, Forward listed some freakish mothers, then exchanged comical comments about them with his cohost. Some highlights included their dirty quips about the state of the Octomom's nether regions, and their joking that Lina Medina, a girl who had a son at only five years old, endured the horror of giving birth during her childhood by laughing about how silly her name was. Many comedians would easily go too far or simply not know how to approach such bizarre content, but both Forward and Andrews improvised about the zany subject matter with impressive ease.
After the introduction, Andrews talked about why he hopes his future son will be an idiot, and Forward conducted a game called "Would Eric Hate That Science?," in which audience members guessed if Andrews would approve of recent scientific news stories to compete for several random prizes, including a plastic mallard and a lipstick piggybank. Both sections had premises that could be dismissed as very basic, but that was their strength: their uncomplicated beginnings acted as blank canvases that facilitated a wealth of enjoyable riffs.
Subsequently, the show continued to somehow get even better with a wonderfully funny interview with Andrews' actual mother Dale. Dale provided lots of awkward hilarity: she read an amateurish poem she wrote about Andrews' childhood, which peculiarly focused on how phones have changed over the past few decades, creepily flirted with Forward, and showed everyone a series of dusters that she made out of coat hangers and wool. The whole discussion was just as hysterical as it was completely awkward and strange.
As the show began to wind down, Andrews carried on with the trend of unpredictable absurdism in his recurring segment "Eric's Corner." In this portion of the show, Eric Andrews created a vivid and needlessly elaborate scenario involving a magical family, told Mark to pick one of the family members to get a riddle from, and forced him to pick the mother in a very funny and needlessly intricate fashion similar to the start of the scenario. Andrews then told a typical riddle that had an answer that barely made sense, and the two comedians drew the thoroughly incredible hour to a close by impersonating each other hysterically poorly.
Later that evening Forward headlined a Comedy Bar show, and with his openers Eric Andrews and Bob Kerr, all performed stellar sets at this magnificent show, which ended before the sun set.
Host Eric Andrews had an adorably anxious stage presence as he hilariously played around with standing really close and really far from the audience, imagined a hypothetical future where he's extremely famous so his ex will really regret having cheated on him, and told the audience about how he treats his body pillow at home like a real woman. Following him, Bob Kerr joked about the changes he's experienced as he's gained weight, and presented the different fake laughs he's perfected for reacting to his boss's jokes, the best of which was intended for nervously responding to hearing a rape joke that sounded too much like a real story of sexual assault. The former was very amusing, while the latter was hilariously accurate.
Mark Forward burst on stage in a captain hat and a black jacket with suit-like lapels, fake gems, and long tassels. He quickly committed to wearing the ridiculous jacket for the entire show, hung the captain's hat on the mic stand, and dove into his brilliantly ludicrous material.
Forward provided fast-paced hilarity by using tangents to shift between completely contrasting jokes within the same topic. For example, when he spoke about the societal plague of being too easily offended, his listing of increasingly ridiculous things people could get offended by somehow transformed the bit into him telling everyone to talk to the weird woman in their office to prevent her from committing future tragedies, thus preventing future offence. Likewise, his tangential humour played a major role in morphing his rant about why people shouldn't be allowed to live past 100 into him loudly playing a recorder out of tune. In this joke, the numerous tangents allowed him to transition from the mainstream observational sensibility he began with to a far more alternative voice in a matter of minutes. The flexibility was awesome to witness.
Lastly, Forward delivered his beautifully outlandish and dramatic closer involving a convenience store selling fancy hats. This extensive narrative showcased everything that makes Forward one of the best comedians in Canada: his versatility, his silly voices, and most importantly his unparalleled ability to blow simple situations out of proportion into unfathomably preposterous material. The long yet totally engrossing story served as a perfect ending for Forward's consistently exceptional hour.