Editor’s note:

In 2008, comedy was still a niche genre receiving minimal media attention. Third Beat started as an outlet for writing that wouldn’t be published anywhere else, and became something bigger (and more labour-intensive) than I expected. It was a great run, but it came time to shut ‘er down.

Below is a hand-picked “best of” of Third Beat’s reporting and photography from 2008-2015, a mix of popular articles and my own sentimental faves. Enjoy, and if you’d like to keep up to speed on my work, find me at @thirdbeat (or in the audience of many comedy shows in Toronto).

Sharilyn Johnson, 2018


 

 

Best of: Late Night

Behind the scenes at Colbert’s Late Show premiere: 7 deep cuts
What really happened in the studio, and what didn't make it to air.
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7 Reasons Why The Jon Stewart Show Ruled
Before he hosted The Daily Show, Jon Stewart presided over a '90s gem -- usually in the middle of the night
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Jon Stewart: I almost quit Daily Show over “asshole” coworkers
The Daily Show host opened up to Stephen Colbert during a fundraiser for the Montclair Film Festival
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10 Moments with Stephen Colbert at the 92nd St. Y
Stephen Colbert’s book promo for America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t continued Friday night with an all-too-rare Q&A session with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns at New York’s 92nd
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SNL from the Bleachers, Part 1: Pre-Show
A look inside the live broadcast of the Dec. 17, 2011 episode of SNL.
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Deconstructing Conan: Panel Discussion with the Writers of Late Night
Late Night writers Dan Cronin, Berkley Johnson, Brian McCann, Matt O’Brien, Guy Nicolucci, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg, and head writer Mike Sweeney  joined moderator Sarah Vowell for “Deconstructing Conan” at
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Best of: Interviews

Matt Mira’s Dave Matthews Band Nerd-Out, Part 1
Almost anything can be nerded out about on the Nerdist Podcast. Almost. Poor Matt Mira. All he wants to do is openly love Dave Matthews Band. But can he? No.
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Marc Maron: Part 1
Since premiering in September of last year, Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF, has become required listening for anyone who claims to take an interest in the comic mind. His interviews with
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Best of: Toronto Comedy

Third Frames: Monkey Toast w/ David Shore
Monkey Toast creator David Shore made a brief return to Toronto, and assembled the Monkey Toast Players for an all-star improv show at Bad Dog Theatre
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Primo w/ Colin Mochrie and Nikki Payne
Primo is a monthy sketch/improv show featuring a impressive cast of Second City alumi and Toronto sketch mainstays, happening the third Thursday of each month at Supermarket in Kensington Market.
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Toronto: The Carnegie Hall Show’s Second City Housewarming
The Carnegie Hall Show feels like a major event on any given night. But when the popular Toronto variety show kicked off its monthly residency at its new venue on
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Pat Thornton’s 24 Hours, feat. Smee Diamond Peters
He survived! For the third year running, Toronto comedian Pat Thornton performed a 24 hour stand-up set at Comedy Bar to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, surpassing his
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Third Frames: Sketchersons rehearsal with Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Wrestling superstar Bret “The Hitman” Hart hosted the October 16 edition of Sunday Night Live, the weekly sketch show presented by Toronto sketch supergroup The Sketchersons. It was a packed
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Team Spirits
Like a lot of cities, Toronto’s comedy community has a wide selection of weeknight open mics held in the back room of a mid-sized, mid-town, mid-priced bar. Spirits is exactly
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Best of: Improv

Dave Razowsky’s Barn Burner
Second City legend Dave Razowsky put in some heavy-duty stage time at Revel Theatre Collective's monthly Barn Burner show
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2009 Del Close Marathon: Day 1
Ahh, Friday! Fresh faces, sanitary eating habits, and hydrated bodies
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Best of: JFL 

JFL42 Dispatches: The Alt Show Commeth
“Are you people ready for the greatest show on Earth?,” Andy Kindler asked. It wasn't hyperbole -- I think it's fair to call this strongest line-up of comics the Comedy
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Just For Laughs Montreal: Joan Rivers Gala
A 5:00 p.m. gala? Why not? Even before the first glimmer of her outfit’s first sequin was visible, Joan Rivers had the Place des Arts audience eating out of the
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Talk of the Fest & Bo Burnham
Booze, poutine, and comedy: recipe for joyful Montreal debauchery. The 2013 edition of Just For Laughs is heading into its final – and biggest – weekend, and the ComedyPRO conference
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Just For Laughs: Hot Tub / Alternative Show
“Alternative” is really the only genre of comedy Just For Laughs can put at Katacombes, a tiny rock club that looks like it’s straight out of a Pamela Des Barres
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Just For Laughs: Muppets gala
The Muppets, live on stage along with their Muppeteers, had Place des Arts in the palm of their little felt hands as they hosted the Thursday night gala at Just
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JFL Toronto: Noel Fielding @ Comedy Bar
Luckily for us, the concept of "truth in comedy" is a foreign one to Noel Fielding
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JFL Toronto: Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
Reviewing the premiere of Mike Birbiglia’s "My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend" at Just For Laughs Toronto.
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Best of: More Live Shows 

20 Funniest Lines from the Roast of the Iron Sheik
Thursday night at Toronto's Royal Cinema, the Dark Comedy Festival hosted the Roast of the Iron Sheik, aka Night of a Thousand "Faggot" Utterances
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Bitch Salad, Pride edition w/ Julie Klausner
A stone's throw from the heart of Toronto's Gay Pride celebrations, Bitch Salad's fifth annual Pride edition played to a (rightfully) packed house
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Review: Janeane Garofalo in Toronto
I was fully prepared for a maybe ranty, maybe preachy, maybe not as funny as she used to be Janeane. And boy, do I feel silly.
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Review: Eddie Izzard’s Work In Progress
Eddie Izzard tries out new material in front of an intimate crowd at Toronto's Comedy Bar.
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Review: Dave Chappelle in Toronto
Six years after his last visit to Toronto, it was an older and wiser Dave Chappelle, performing infront of an older and wiser audience at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre on
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Recap: Jimmy Pardo in Toronto
Jimmy Pardo doesn’t hit the road as much these days, so it was lucky for Toronto that he found his way to town for a weekend. Also lucky?  That he
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Skype Saves Sklar Show
Turns out, the American to Canadian exchange rate on Sklars is 50%. The Sklar Brothers were scheduled to play Toronto’s Comedy Bar on Saturday night, but the audience for the
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Conan O’Brien: The ‘Legally Prohibited’ Tour
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone leaving Massey Hall on Saturday night without a smile on their face
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