Live Show Recaps

Published on November 21st, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Todd Barry: man of 4,000 faces

Todd Barry in Toronto. Photo by Sharilyn Johnson

Todd Barry in Toronto. Photo by Sharilyn Johnson

See Todd Barry.

See Todd Barry come to Toronto.

See Todd Barry kill.

Kill, Todd, kill.

If you’re like me – and if you’re reading this – you’re a pretty jaded comedy fan. I don’t laugh a lot, opting more often to sit back and muse “that was very funny”. That went completely out the window. At the halfway point, I had to halt consumption of my pint of beer, for fear that it would have come back out the same way it came in. Although had I puked on Todd’s shoes, it would have been a nice call-back to my favourite bit of the night about audience members accusing him of “planning” obviously unplanned moments in the the crowd (thankfully, there were no belligerent 30-member bachelorette parties anywhere to be seen)

My dear friend Catherine, who was alongside me in the front row due to my picture takin’ purposes, ended up getting to know Todd quite well during a lengthy back-and-forth, due fully to Todd’s inexplicable (even to him) desire to ask her questions. He discovered that they attended the same college in Florida, and ended up inviting the entire crowd to her apartment above the venue to drink her fridge full of beer. (The party with the mini-keg of Heineken is actually tonight. You’re are all invited. We’ll try to keep it down while the show’s on.).

He did exactly an hour and was brought back out on stage for an encore, capping things off with his tale of a Swedish fan’s usage of the word “boundaryless”. Love that bit.

Afterwards, Todd said something that I’ve heard multiple times from New Yorkers performing in Toronto: that the crowd was polite, but that it wasn’t seriously rocking. I disagree. While it’s fair to suspect he was just being modest, I think the reality is that Torontonians truly are the coldhearted dicks that the rest of Canada says we are. (But we’re coldhearted dicks who love Todd Barry, so that has to redeem us a bit).

If you’re in Toronto, a few tickets might still be available for tonight’s shows, so call Comedy Bar at 647-898-5324 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              647-898-5324      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and beg.

At one point in the show, Todd feigned anger at me for taking “four thousand photos” and did an impression of the difference (or lack thereof) between 2 back-to-back shots. Which was startlingly accurate, and why you’re only seeing 10 of the 55 frames under the cut:

(I should probably amend my “Interview Tips for Comedians” post with a note that “if you know a photographer is going to be there, and they’re purposely trying to only click the shutter on the laughs, don’t make things even more awkward for them”. This was happening when I started shooting comics 12 years ago. And it’s never once dawned on anyone that they just answered “yes” to the hacky heckler retort of do-I-come-to-your-job and do-such-and-such-to-interfere. Let’s both do our work and be happy, k?)

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About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including