Review: Night Two of Just For Laughs' "Midnight Surprise" Lives Up To Its Name
One of the most fascinating series of shows that takes place during Montreal's prestigious Just For Laughs Festival is the late-night favourite, "Midnight Surprise". Taking place in the heart of the city's "charming" Red Light District at the compact yet cozy Theatre Saint-Catherine (which many comedians of the night declared looked like the seating of an airplane), the series features special guests from all different levels of success and comedic talent. "Midnight Surprise" is hosted by Todd Glass, who is perhaps best know for his stand up appearances on talks shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Last Comic Standing. At times, Glass' bits included a little help from the soundboard (which included everything from the signature, sinister "Dun dun dunnn" to Sinatra tunes), something that the crowd seemed to appreciate, even when everyone was well aware that he had milked that bit dry! The comedian stands out in his methods of interacting with the audience, shooting compliments at crowd members instead of picking on them. Despite these enjoyable moments, Glass was the least entertaining act on the bill.
The first guest of the night was certainly a pleasant surprise. The man introduced as "Tommy Sandwich", a comedian who host Glass states had "appeared on The Late Show over 40 times") turned out to be none other than English funny-man and festival favourite Jimmy Carr. During his set, Carr presented a cornucopia of wildly risqué jokes, with topics spawning everywhere from rape, bestiality, death and how he'd "crawl over broken glass just to suck the cock of the last man who fucked Elizabeth Hurley", seeing how bad he wanted her. The Brit's dangerous blend served as to what was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening.
The next to comedians to take the stage were the hosts of the "JFL Club Series" that are currently taking place: The Ethnic Show's Alonzo Bodden and The Nasty Show's Mike Ward. Both comedians performed what is more/less the bulk of the material they use for each of their respective hosting duties. Highlights included Bodden's take on Obama using the "n-word", along with Ward's (aka the Quebecois comedian version of Blink-182's Mark Hoppus) outrageous story of sticking his penis inside a man's glass of champagne at a party.
The surprises continued to roll in when Egyptian-born Ahmed Ahmed took the stage to perform an excellent take on the overly-perpetuated Arab stereotypes that are prominently featured in North American culture.
"Midnight Surprise" concluded with the show's only female performer, a true lady of grace at that. Wife of Borat and friend of Snoop Dogg, Lunell brought down the house with a set that was mainly focused around penises, erectile dysfunction and matters of a similar nature (this included using the microphone as limp dick prop) . Given this, there is no question as to who the comedienne is included on the bill of "The Nasty Show".
In conclusion, if you enjoy jokes involving racial matters and stereotypes, go check out "The Ethnic Show". If you're humour is more geared towards dark jokes and sexuality, go check out "The Nasty Show". However, if you want a pleasant and always unexpected blend of some of the best that this festival has to offer, "Midnight Surprise" is the show for you! Who knows, maybe as the festival continues, even more surprising names will be rolling through...
Get your tickets for "Midnight Surprise" and other Just For Laughs shows at www.hahaha.com.