Laugh-rodisiacs is always a safe bet ticket and comedy evening wise at the Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival and the 2007 version of this buffet of relationship comedy is no exception. I was especially looking forward to it tonight, July 17th, when I found out the line-up included Alonzo Bodden, Wendy Liebman and Tom Papa, all comics I have enjoyed in the past.
Alonzo Bodden was the mc and his usual excellent self. I have had a weak spot for Bodden even before he was the first comic to support our website and it was with great pleasure I got to see him again. I will always be grateful to Alonzo for his early support but also for setting me up tonight for a great audience comeback during his set: "What do you do for a living, sir?" "I review comics!" It is a line I've only gotten to use twice so far and I actually got a laugh!
Also good, as expected, was Wendy Liebman -who, granted, was a bit rusty after a hiatus so her pauses for her famous misdirection comedy were a bit too short. I would still kill for a Wendy Liebman CD: she is an original. This is perhaps where catching a buffet comedy show like Laugh-rodisiacs is a bit unfair. An audience always has somewhat higher expectations from a comic they have seen and enjoyed before. You kind of get used to Liebman having a good set so the bar is a bit higher every time.
I was also looking forward to Tom Papa. I still enjoy his CD Calm, Cool, and Collected and have always appreciated catching him at Just For Laughs. He came through again with material I had not heard before.
New to me was Fiona O'Loughlin, a forty-something Australian comic who does stand-up comedy from a mother's point of view. She told me after the show she was a bit nervous but I do not think it showed. She starts out from a different place than most comics and uses every opportunity this gives her to be fresh and original. O'Loughlin is a comic I very much hope to see again, especially in a less safe show than Laugh-rodisiacs as she seemed to be holding back a bit on a rather dark streak I think I would appreciate very much. I really enjoyed her set.
Closer Jo Koy was also new to me and he really killed. I was so busy laughing I could not play critic so all I can say is he really had the crowd going and closed the evening with a bang. Jo Koy is someone I was to see again and maybe this time, though I doubt it, I will be able to take notesKevin Hart was also on the Laugh-rodisiacs bill but he seemed to be unaware this was a relationship show and so did material that did not work with the evening.