Rory Scovel Garrison, Toronto ON, September 24
Published Sep 25, 2015Sitcom character actor (Ground Floor) and rising stand-up comedy talent Rory Scovel made things weird late on Thursday night as he brought his talents to Toronto for the first time. "The burrito places all just agreed to have that graffiti font up here eh?" he observed off the top.
Manic and weird, Scovel played meta with the audience throughout his set, dancing without music, shouting into the crowd as he held a dangling microphone by the cord for a full five minutes before getting to a punch line about not knowing how mics should operate, and yelling at an onstage piano.
Part joke-telling stand-up and part absurdist on-the-spot improv performance, Scovel's physical comedy was quite remarkable — from miming that he's playing to a stadium to chasing a patron back to their seat after a bathroom break.
The keyboard (which he doesn't really play) served as both an onstage antagonist, getting scolded for being in his way, and for comic miming through some musical cues, until he called for someone in the audience who could actually play to come up and accompany him through an extended bit involving dim lights, a whole lotta reverb, and pretending to be in a spooky comedy tunnel.
What made Scovel's act remarkable was watching it teeter on the brink of complete collapse while he dangled premises over the audience, all while calling attention to the fact that this was happening to us and in front of us. The physical comedy, crowd work, crafted jokes and spontaneous outbursts combined so terrifically that one was constantly off-balance, unsure of where this might go, down a comedy tunnel or even a rabbit hole.