If you are not sure what show(s) to see at this year’s 2018 Just For Laughs Festival the best thing you can do is attend the Ethnic Show. The great thing about the Ethnic show is not just in the diversity of its acts but in the diversity of its comedy. If you don’t particularly enjoy one of the six comics on stage you will be sure to enjoy a few others if not all the others since they all bring out the laughter at some point.
Ethnic show host Maz Jobrani came out with grooving to music that sounded more Indian than Iranian. Maz pointed out that was okay because they were similar enough. From there on Maz had the audience right where he wanted them. His comedy hit right at home with Montrealers, commenting on the construction and knowing, as we do, that no work seems to be getting done. Most of his jokes are centred around being Iranian such as how as how immigrant parents embarrass their kids when he was telling everyone he was Greek.
Francisco Ramos told jokes about his accent and how even speaking to the voice activated virtual assistant Alexa can cause problems. The accent problem is escalated when he tries to say ‘saLmon’ properly at the airport. His discussion of Twitter existing in Roman era times and an impersonation of Ceaser as Trump was a major hit for him and one of the entire evening’s highlights.
Gina Brillon was wearing red high heeled shoes and a striped pantsuit. She complimented how good an audience we were as opposed to being with miserable people who you could come to the show with. She was right on about how the younger generation is too sensitive and as you get older you don’t care. The dismal “Whoo!” shout out for singles turned out to be a good thing for Gina because she was able to make some extra jokes about it. The comedy of being single lead into dating and then marriage material.
Matteo Lane is pretty much all about gay humour and in particular how everyone is gay including sci-fi robots. His shout out for any gay people in the audience was even more dismal than Gina’s shout out for single people. However Matteo handled it well making a great joke about it just being him and the curtains. One of the few non-gay jokes was about how he hates Starbucks because they can’t get his name right on the cup mistaking to for potato.
Loyiso Gola made it clear he was from South Africa. He joked about speaking Afrikaans in Amsterdam. He added we in Quebec think we are good because we speak two languages but where he comes from there is eleven and he speaks five. One audience member was funnily heckled back at with a great line from Loyiso “Sir, if you were not there when I wrote the joke I don’t need your help now.” Even though there was minimal swearing I found it unnecessary as his humour was good enough on it’s own.
They saved the best for last. Orny Adams’ infectious comedic energy abounds in stage presence, jokes and laughter. Orny has lots of new material, some of which is about him buying a house and what that entails. The stories about his family travelling to Israel, family photos on the wall and parents using a cellphone are hilarious. It seems Orny’s Teen Wolf fame comes in handy making him the David Cassidy for some of today’s youth but backfires when it comes to using a $20 coupon at Jiffy Lube. Orny even gave a few jokes from previous times here that are never tiring. Which ones? Make sure to get your tickets for the Ethnic Show to find out. The shows run through until July 26th at Club Soda.