Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Montreal Just For Laughs: Jour 2

Montreal, Jour 2: One of these things is not like the others. Right now I'm sitting underneath a framed collage of four black & white headshots: Steven Wright, Morgan Murphy, Richard Lewis, and Carrot Top–looking even creepier than usual (Have you ever seen a black and white photo of Carrot Top? It's unnerving. It looks like his signature fiery fro burnt itself out, and the ashes are those sad, gray tufts surrounding his face.) Which one of these things is not like the others? Hmmmm.. You could play that game pretty much continuously at this festival and not run out of things to compare. Right now, for instance, there's a discount sheepskin jacket sale in the lobby. What? Yes. It's listed as an event for some reason, right after Andy Kindler's State Of The Industry speech, and right before the NBC comedy shorts screening, and Zach Galifianakis's show. Which means that the Just For Laughs Festival deems a lonely rack of cheap sheepskin sitting in a hotel lobby on par with those acts–though, honestly, the NBC shorts aren't too far away from a rack of discounted outerwear displayed in a hotel lobby, comedically speaking. In case you were wondering, the furthest thing comedically from a rack of discounted clothing made from sheep pelts at this festival is Louis CK, who I saw last night. (Incidentally, you just read the smoothest transition in the history of the written word.) Louis CK is the stand-up equivelant of a rock star here, not only because the crowds part when he enters the hotel bar, or because he has a masterful command on stage, but because last night he actually did a stand-up encore. After an hour of funny new material about how he hates his daughters, deer (as a species), and Walgreen's, he left the stage. The crowd cheered, many on their feet, and he came back out to even more applause and shouts requesting some of his "greatest hits." People were yelling things like, "Suck a bag of dicks!" and "Saddest Handjob! Saddest Handjob!" which are among the weirdest things one can yell while smiling and in public. So CK gave the crowd what they wanted and barrelled through both bits. The show definitely helped me fulfill my See as many interesting shows as possible goal. As for my other goals, some are progressing better than others: 1. The small dictionary of annoying industry-speak. Second entry: Grab, v., to consume food or beverage but while discussing business and in general being really annoying. Usage: "Hey, we should grab lunch tomorrow and get the ball rolling on that." 2. Documenting Howie Mandel's choice of footwear. As of last night, Mandel is still rocking the My-Little-Pony-inspired Converse. 3. Seeing as many interesting shows as possible. See above. Also the Odenkirk/Cross-hosted sketch show, The Line-Up, was pretty Odenkirk/Cross light, but it was still solid, especially Kurt & Kristen and (despite their name) The Buffoons. Tonight there's Eddie Izzard, and a few late-night talk shows, one involving Paul Provenza and Lewis Black together at last! 4. Seeing as many non-interesting shows as possible. None yet, but that Provenza thing looks unpromising. 5. The Cards Of Shame collection. I've added one more to the pile, and it's the most ridiculous one yet: A casual, full-body shot on a glossy, black buisness card. 6. Finding out who made the Just For Laughs logo and why. No one knows who could have done such a thing, but apparently it's been around for years. How many years? "A lot." Apparently at this point it's just one of those things that people around here just blindly accept: the grass is green, there's a mall underground connecting the city, and the JFL logo is a sassy mucus-ball in theatrical costume.


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