Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of going to see some funny guys and gals downtown at the Comedy Nest (old forum). I was there to see an event aptly named the Montreal Comedy Competition. This was the competition’s 4th go around with previous winners being Faisal Butt, Nick Brazao, and Eddy King. The goal of this competition is to highlight Montreal’s great comedic talent and to help young comedians get a start in the industry.
I learned from a friend of mine who was playing the show that a slew of comedians throw their names into a hat and 10 contestants are selected. The comedians must be starting out on the scene but not be brand spankin’ new (its only open to comedians with 1.5 – 5 yrs experience). The event was hosted by Peter J. Radomski and featured first year winner, Faisal Butt (yes he did get made fun of as a child!).
The process is pretty straight forward, 10 comedians perform and are scored based on material, creativity, stage presence, audience reaction and overall style. This competition’s line up featured: (alphabetical order) Abdul Butt, Eman, Jeff Laflamme, Jessica Salomon, Michael Lifshitz, Paul Baluyot, Scott Miller and Walter Lyng.
Overall the show was pretty funny and a very good outing for a Wednesday night: a couple of drinks & a couple of laughs. The comedians were all pretty young so it was to be expected that some were good and some were… less good.
My two favorite dueling comedians of the night were Walter Lyng and Jessica Salomon. I really liked their style and edge. Walter was fast, furious and… creepy. (just my type of humour), a little bit like a young John Belushi. My favorite joke of the night was his closing bit where he was talking about his trouble picking up women. His technique was to stand at the bar and stare at a girl with his “sexy look”. Needless to say his “sexy look” was a combination of the gaze used by a stalker/rapist/serial killer (and he wonders why he has a hard time picking up girls). The joke actually got funnier when after the show, he told me that he really did use “sexy look” out at bars and the first person to tell him he looked like a serial killer/rapist was my little brother (they grew up together).
My second favorite bit of the night was the social media stylings of Jessica Salomon. (Paul had some good FB jokes too) Jessica had a great bit about monogamy and the lures of Facebook. Talking about the difficulties of monogamy: “Putting everyone who you’ve ever met, fucked, or wanted to fuck at the touch of a few keyboard taps does not make monogamy any easier!” I also really liked her poem, “Am I wet or is my pussy crying?” in reference to her recent break-up and the allure of breakup sex.
At the end of the night the organizer Ali Mohammadi announced the winner of the competition… (drum roll please!)
Eman! Ok, she wasn’t my favorite comic of the night but there was one thing that set her apart from all the others. She was the most professional comedian and her act was the most polished. I kinda prefer wild and crazy but she did have some pretty funny stuff about her mom’s birthday being on September 11th and the hilarity that ensued when a family of Muslims get together (outside) to celebrate such a joyous event on 9/11!
Anyways, I quite enjoyed the show and hopefully I’ll be seeing some more in the near future. If you’re in the Montreal area and looking for comedy, the Comedy Nest is a great place to go. They host Just for laughs events as well as a slew of other comedic happenings numerous times a week.
Pictures from the event by Chris Zacchia