The Nasty Show is Great, But Not for Everyone

When I first read about this year’s line up for The Nasty Show, I must admit I was excited. Gilbert Gottfried, Artie Lange, Jimmy Carr, etc., the list was making for an ideal night of comedy.

This year would be a very different year for the Nasty Show. Longtime host Bobby Slayton was replaced by local comic Mike Ward, who proved that he could manage the night. But you could still feel that he had big shoes to fill.

I didn’t know how to compare the two. You can tell that Mike was trying to get in there like a seasoned professional and proved that we have some very credibly dirty comics in the this city. But as Canada’s Sin City, we shouldn’t really be that surprised that a Montreal comic can hold his own.

The evening began with the first comedian, seasoned comic Mike Wilmot, who warmed up the crowd with how Montreal is treated much like a mistress for most people in Toronto.

Jimmy Carr was the second to perform that night, and surprisingly, his rapid-fire, short-punchline form of comedy was one of the best of the evening.

There’s something about his punchline comedy that makes audiences laugh nonstop. And although he did break the Nasty Show threshold, telling some pretty lewd jokes, he established himself innocently oblivious while doing it, encased in a powerful wit – really adding to his routine.

Luenell came after. It was the first time Luenell performed at the comedy fest, but she was perfect addition to the night. Luenell’s comedy was based on her very strange stories about dating a man who lived in an assisted living apartment, which ended when he started taking Viagra.

Luenell performs the Nasty Show. Photo by Matthew Cope

Gilbert Gottfried came on like a man on the mission to make his audience squirm. This, I could see by the 25-year-old “Politically Correct” crowd sitting next to me were starting to feel slightly uncomfortable when Gottfried dipped into his collection of terrible and nasty jokes.

But that’s how Gottfried’s schtick works. When I interviewed Gottfried some weeks ago, he said that he couldn’t remember doing the Nasty Show before this year. This i found surprising, since Gottfried is one of the nastiest and dirtiest comics out there and was an excellent addition to the Nasty Show line up.

The last performer of the evening was the very unhealthy-looking Artie Lange. For years now, Artie Lange has been one of the background voices on the Howard Stern Show. He was also on Mad TV in the 90s. But ever since he joined Stern, he has really made a name for himself in comedy.

On stage, he looks like he’s been through a lot. “I’m one of the few people that never lost weight doing cocaine,” he tells his audience, “I must have been doing it wrong.” His jokes talk about his time in rehab and how he ended up in a mental institution. He’s clean now, but very drunk.

The Nasty Show is what it is. If you’re easily offended, if you are a member of the under-25 PC crowd, if you squirm at dirty jokes, then this might not be the show for you. For everyone else, buckle up and enjoy the lewd ride! This show is going to get nasty!

The Nasty Show runs from July 16 to July 25 at Metropolis and Club Soda. Check out for more information.

Photos courtesy of Matthew Cope and Just for Laughs.

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