Laugh-Rodisiacs is a perennial sell-out at the Just For Laughs Montreal comedy festival. It is a very safe bet ticket wise and usually worth the price. This year’s Laugh-Rosidiacs was, again, a solid bet and worth the price. Caroline Rhea was host and the line-up was generally solid. As a stand-up comedy fan and veteran of this show, it was nice to see the jokes go beyond the usual husband/wife/girlfriend clichés.
Rhea was solid. She presented some new material having to do with being a new mother and did a few short versions of her older stuff. There was a bit of a lull after she was introduced. I suspect she was tearing the announcer a new one for mispronouncing her name. Rightly so and I hope she used a blunt spork to do it.
Christian Finnegan was up first. I am always ambivalent about Finnegan. I like him but always get the feeling he could be so much better. A good example was tonight when his final punchline was not the perfect one for the joke. Both my stand-up comedy fan business partner and I knew it should have been “and then I would live with my father-in-law”.
I learned something tonight. If a comic is not at the very top of his game, it may not be his fault. Tom Rhodes learned 3 hours before show time that this was a relationship comedy show and I am the one who told him. Hard to get your killer, crowd appropriate set together in that time. I love Rhodes but it showed.
Jim Breuer killed. If you’ve seen Breuer once, you’ll recognize him forever (except for myself who has no facial memory whatsoever). He has a certain goofy look that he supports with the occasional … mentally challenged … laugh. This could come across as a gimmick but it does not. All I remember from his set though is laughing real hard. I thought for sure we had reviewed his CD though.
Aisha Tyler unfortunately reminded me of a Britcom show a few years ago where you could hear the air conditioning turn on and off and the barman clink glasses. To her defense, she too seemed to have been unaware this was a relationship comedy show. I am hoping she figured her set would consequently be a struggle anyways and decided to test out untried material. I hate to say it but it was a bit on food poisoning that left … a bad taste in my mouth.
Bob Marley closed and killed. Marley was firing on all cylinders and a few more to boot. Marley supports his stand-up comedy with some excellent physical work that allows his jokes to get a few more seconds of laughter out of the audience. Marley has the best Swiffer joke ever but the entire set premised on his wife getting stuck in the snow was superb and even Cosby-esque. He is the Maine man of comedy.
Laugh-Rodisiacs always was and remains an excellent bet for your stand-up comedy dollar at Just For Laughs. Yes, I paid for the tickets.