Rich Vos Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, June 7
Published Jun 08, 2015Although Rich Vos was enjoyable, this was an erratic and awkward show. There were a few intervals where laughter was inconsistent, the audience was uncomfortably well lit, and most of the openers were substandard.
The majority of Vos's material was typified by ordinary premises that veered into dark punch lines. In his opening bit about buying discount clothing from Marshalls, he reframed his thrifty purchases as him taking clothes that would have gone to poor children. Similarly, in his bit about visiting his in-laws for the first time, the story became jocularly cutting as he painted a picture of his father-in-law attempting to sexually assault him in a barn. Likewise, his joke about having sex with his wife during her period became amusingly biting when he explained that he enjoyed it because it allowed him to pretend that he was murdering her.
Having said that, not all of Vos's jokes were gritty. His set also included some less jarring, albeit still pessimistic, jokes about the stupidity of hotel employees, Bank of America, and the increase of toll fees in New York.
Additionally, many of the most memorable moments of the night came about from Vos improvising. His quip about competing with the noise from the bar and his comparison of the theatre to purgatory were both very funny, and his impromptu ridiculing of improv troupes was simple but hilarious. Moreover, his mocking of his friends and fellow comedians such as Joe DeRosa and Robert Kelly was comical, as was his crowd work with two couples and a Jewish guy from New Jersey who sold organic food.
The show included three opening acts. Host Hannah Hogan was confident and her material about falling in love with a Texan man was decent, but she was unprofessional. She called Vos "Rick" instead of "Rich" twice at the beginning of her performance without correcting herself, and she went over her time by several minutes, which later spurred Vos to subtly complain about it as his set drew to a close. Comparatively, Josh Engvall was better, but his crass humour mostly got laughs for its shock factor, not for being well-written. Lastly, Rob Mailloux brought some much needed energy to the beginning of the show with a fantastic argument against people who say that women who become pregnant as a result of rape should keep their children, and a great bit about famous abortion doctors.