Talk of the Fest used to be called Bubbling with Laughter - the name change seems appropriate since the laughter part appears to be missing this year. Last night's Talk of the Fest with Jeremy Hotz was being recorded for future broadcast - perhaps show producers believe the jokes will become funny sometime in the future.
There was a constant source of humour all night and that took the form of the emcee for the evening Jeremy Hotz. Hotz's local content bits were so smooth that he could have passed for a Montrealer. The importance of a good emcee cannot be underestimated as it is the emcee who rescues the audience after a poor performance and sets them up again for the next comic.Unfortunately that was a yeoman's service last night and it was not entirely the fault of the comics. Whenever a television show is taping the technical problems and limitations of the medium take priority over audience enjoyment and the comic's true talent. Normally when an audience goes to see a series of comics they each have a good chunk of time to work with; not so with the comics last night.
Maz Jobrani who is normally a very entertaining comic was more or less a dud as he wasn’t really given enough time to do any interesting riffing with the audience and his basic stand-up alone is nothing special.
The least entertaining comic of the night was Sean Patton, whose entire set was one long, droning drag about being drunk. It was flat to say the least.
Ian Edwards had the advantage of following the dreadful Patton and got some decent laughs. The shortness of the set left the audience wanting more of Edwards than he was allowed to give.
Tom Segura followed Edwards and wasn’t too terrible, but nothing about his set was memorable in the least.
Brendon Walsh and Kyle Radke did their best to save the show with 2 consecutive good bits regarding pot and fear of flying (aviophobia) respectively. As good as Walsh and Radke were their skill could not make up for the subsequent disaster that was Todd Glass.
Glass was not even close to funny. He opened with 2 unfunny jokes, and then proceeded to awkwardly pretend to end his set; only to comeback out on stage as if the crowd wanted him to return:we did not. This was followed by one long, unfunny joke about the infomercial product “shamwow”, which dragged on for about 3 minutes, and lacked any discernible punch line.
Glass was followed by Jimmy Carr, who on any other night would have seemed fairly lackluster, but anyone would have looked incredible after Glass’ debacle. Carr’s set was a string of disconnected one liners that were totally hit or miss. In a nutshell, the only talk this show will generate is of comedians to avoid if possible.