The fourth of six installments of the CBC Halifax Comedy Festival airs March 30th at 9 on … the CBC! This program is a series of snippets from various stand-up comedy performances by Greg Proops, Johnny Harris, Phil Hanley, Sugar Sammy, the usually dreadful Ant, Erica Sigurdson, Jay Malone, Darcy Michael, Matt Billon, and Mike Wilmot. Some people will probably enjoy this format more than a stand-up comedy purist like myself but there are many good bits in this show.
The CBC Halifax Comedy Festival is also a good warm-up act for the CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival which follows at 9:30
Whose Line Is It Anyways’ Greg Proops opens the show and is the comic whose routine this fourth episode goes back to most often. Proops is an acerbic comic best enjoyed by those who like smart stand-up even if his opening is good but standard please the locals fare. Johnny Harris has a really good and for a change original bit on the 40 terrorist’s virgin. The show also opens with his viciously funny jab at Stephen Harper.
Phil Hanley played one of the small venues at the 2008 Halifax Comedy Festival but his bit on being a “stay at home son” is funny. Sugar Sammy has a decent enough bit about being Arab looking and flying first class. For the first time in my life I enjoyed Ant; this time it is a very good bit about boy scouts.
Perhaps the clip format of this stand-up comedy TV show works to the benefit of some comics by presenting only the highlights of their performance, but it takes a lot away from stand-up comics like Erica Sigurdson and Mike Wilmot whose sets sound really good.
Next up is Matt Billon’s pretty good Halifax Comedy Festival gala performance, a very good clip from Mike Wilmot’s set –which, again, should have been given more time—and a few more jokes by Greg Proops.