Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh-Off 2008 features 8 young comics doing a 6 minute set in the hope of scoring the $25,000 grand prize (Hey, it's a Canadian show. In the old days it was $25 in Tim Hortons coupons). Yuk Yuk's owner Mark Breslin plays host. If, like myself you are fan of buffet style comedy check out The Comedy Network July 26th at 10 P.M. --got to get that in somehow.
First up is Canadian Rob Pue with a solid six minutes on steroids in sports. The comic blows a punchline but otherwise this is original stuff.
American stand-up Joe Cumbo does a great impression of Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence.
Stephen Patterson has a decent set. Though he starts off weak with a Jeopardy joke his closer about owning a loft bed is pretty good.
I was not impressed by Jon Steinberg's Comedy Now! special and he does some of that material here.
South African comedian John Vlismas has a good set on animals in the wild. It needs some tightening up though as it is a bit too slowly paced and the punchline is not quite worth the wait. Of the first 5 comics on Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh-Off 2008 this guy stood out the most.
Graham Clark, another Canadian, has what I think is the best set and the best set for the occasion. Clark tells a series of short jokes that showcase his versatility and then goes for a longer story. Most jokes are pretty good although he could emphasize the punchline a bit more.
Chris Forbes does Scotland proud, kilt and all. Forbes is solid and he too uses his stage time to showcase his versatility. His closer is the strongest of the evening.
Local, Toronto, stand-up Eric Berg closes the competition. Berg is okay but should learn that lowering his voice only makes sure people can't understand him.
If you are going to perform in front of Just For Laughs CEO Bruce Hills, Letterman show booker and comic Eddie Brill, Michelle Daly and Michael Cox (of Canadian TV fame) you might want to avoid including some of the world's oldest jokes in your set. Canadian Rob Pue, an otherwise good comic, tells the Ben Johnson Olympic joke and American Joe Cumbo tells the really old goldfish surprised by something in the bowl joke.
The winner of the Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh Off 2008 is ... on The Comedy Network July 26th 2008 at 10 P.M. (a bit more elegant, eh?).