Stand-up On the Spot

Montreal Improv, Montreal QC, July 27

Jeff Ross, Big Jay Oakerson, Sasheer Zamata and more engage in audience-driven comedy.

BY Julianna RomanykPublished Jul 28, 2017

If you do know Jeremiah Watkins, you've probably seen him, but not heard him. As one of the members of The Wave, the physical comedy component of Roast Battle, Watkins has been televised doing everything from tottering around in a banana suit to shaving his pubic hair. Having said that, Stand-Up on the Spot showed a different but equally strong side to Watkins: his comedic mind. Watkins' ability to riff on everything from the deleted scenes from Stand By Me to leprechauns was beyond his years.
Watkins' approach to improvising standup was to get the audience to yell out prompts and concoct comedy based on their suggestions, but not everyone on his show had the same approach. Sal Vulcano and Jeff Ross followed Watkins' structure, but the rest of the lineup did drastically differently things. Big Jay Oakerson somewhat unadventurously stuck to his strong suit and did crowd work. Sasheer Zamata talked about how her outfit, told some stories, and did a Q&A. Andrew Santino improvised some scenes with the help of the pianist who accompanied the show. Each comedians' strategy was a unique view into how they think when they perform.
The loose format of the show influenced everyone's act differently. Zamata became a bit aimless as she recounted memories about working in retail with few punch lines. Vulcano took it as an opportunity to figure out some new material. Ross took the chance to be more nostalgic and told some heartwarming stories about Don Rickles, his bar mitzvah and being part of a Friar's roast with Milton Berle and Buddy Hackett. In the end though,

Santino embraced the show the best. His comparison of what he thought he was like when he ordered a burger at A & W while high on mushrooms versus what he was actually like was unpredictably hilarious. The violently sudden face-plant he did after his subtle banter with the pianist was so shocking that it gave everyone a sucker punch of belly laughter.

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