Mike Marino keeps his word. In stand-up comedy this is on the rare side, especially if like us you are not Comedy Central. Marino said he’d see me at the Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival and get me into a show. He immediately did. Of course, having excellent taste in stand-up I went to see Marino in the Ethnic Heroes of Comedy show.
I like buffet shows with a few comics and an MC. Angelo Tsarouchas is a big, big guy so he really knows how a buffet works. He was MC for the evening and elegantly walked that very fine line between being funny enough to warm up the audience but at the same time not outshining the other acts. Tsarouchas also managed a great balancing feat of using his stage time to show the many different kinds of humor he can do.
Ethnic Heroes of Comedy means comics from obviously different background. KT Tatara was first up. He forgot this was a seven o’clock crowd and this was not the Nasty Show. He started off too blue for the crowd and never really got it back on side. I was probably not the only stand-up fan to recognize some 3 year old material.
Egyptian Ahmal Saleh was good. He managed a new take on the 72 virgins and didn’t do the expected terrorist jokes. He is an original comic but I think the audience did expect terrorist jokes and that played against him.
Mike Marino was great. I recorded the impressions of my table mates just to prove I was not influenced by the stand-up’s generosity. Marino killed with the expected ethnic humor. I appreciated he had new punchlines and variations for some of his routines.
Listen to a quick audience review of Mike Marino
I like Gary Gulman but he started off too low key after the intermission. He managed to finish strong with a very funny comedy bit on his Jewish experience with Xmas and especially Xmas carols. I hope to catch Gulman again at Just For Laughs.
Godfrey, the Black comic of the evening, was appreciated by the audience. I expected more ethnic comedy considering the show’s title but the second half of his set was obviously his more standard material. I liked him enough but the crowd loved him more and the audience is never wrong.