Best of JFL

Published on July 10th, 2010 | by Sharilyn Johnson


JFL Toronto: Noel Fielding @ Comedy Bar

Luckily for us, the concept of “truth in comedy” is a foreign one to Noel Fielding.

In front of his second of three packed houses at Toronto’s intimate Comedy Bar, the uber-popular Mighty Boosh star wove fantastical tales out of small granules of reality. He took us on adventures though having a flamingo as a roommate after a zoological “adoption” program gone awry, the inner dialogue of a fly trapped indoors, and his relationship with his freaky neighbor dubbed “Monkey Edwards”. It all starts innocent enough, but before you know it you realize Fielding has sneakily led you down a dark path of make-believe.

He brought with him a hat, a fedora with ears, which he removed at the top of the set but would revisit multiple times in a Jekyll-and-Hyde manner. When he put it on his head, he was transformed into a creepy, gravelly-voiced “rapist” character, which he’d have no recollection of upon removing it.

“This is all tightly scripted, I’ll have you know,” he said, after one round of the clearly improvised weirdness.

But the prepared (or semi-prepared?) material didn’t get unleashed until a lengthy – and necessary – chunk of improv with his audience. The fervor of his fans was contagious to even a jaded comedy blogger like yours truly. They came bearing gifts including Bounty chocolate bars and a detailed hand-made likeness of his Boosh character which Fielding decided was “a voodoo doll”. Gifts were reciprocated with hugs and kisses, which only served to further frenzy the mostly-female crowd. (Thankfully, none got to the point of rushing the stage, which reportedly happened at Thursday’s show.)

I’ve been to Comedy Bar over 100 times, and I can say I’ve never seen a member of the audience come armed with a bristol-board sign to get a performer’s attention. In fact, I’ve never seen a Comedy Bar audience anything like this. I walked in to see a twisting lineup of fans in platform heels and fishnets and gallons of liquid eyeliner… I didn’t need my media pass around my neck to identify me as an outsider. And the screams when the lights went down were deafening.

I can’t say I blame them. He’s as funny as he is charismatic.

If you don’t have a ticket to his final performance tonight, you’re out of luck, but he will be sharing the bill with Todd Barry at the 8pm Double Threat show at Yuk Yuk’s.

Tags: , ,

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.

9 Responses to JFL Toronto: Noel Fielding @ Comedy Bar

  1. Boosh Fan says:

    Wow – Excellent review and gorgeous photographs! Thank you! :)

  2. Leah says:

    Awesome review and lovely photos, my sister actually made the Hitcher doll for Noel and was so chuffed he loved it!

  3. Sharilyn says:

    Thanks guys! And Leah, your sis did an amazing job — everyone sitting around her was oohing and ahhing over it before the show!

  4. Leah says:

    Yeah she worked on him for ages, he was a labor of love, I have a feeling an Old Gregg is next! Do you have your photos from the night posted anywhere, I know my sister would love a copy of the Hitcher one you posted above?

    Thanks again for the great review!

  5. Sharilyn says:

    Hi Leah — I do have full-sized versions of the pics, and I can certainly forward that shot (and a few of my “also rans”) as long as they’re not spread around elsewhere online. Definitely best suited to framing on a wall. =)

    Can I send them to the email you posted with?

  6. Leah says:

    Hi Sharilyn,

    Fantastic! Yes, that would be grand if you could, I promise not to spread them around and I’ll hold my sister to that condition as well. I think she intends on making a mini shrine (not in a creepy way) so having your photo would be grand.

    Yes, the email I posted with is perfect or facebook as we are now friends there.


  7. So we have Russell Brand and Noel Fielding, rockstar/sex symbol comedians that attract a certain rabid female crowd that prob isn’t you usual for comedy. Flight of the Conchords in a way attracts the ladies predominantly also, but they don’t sort of the ooze the sexuality of the aforementioned. Are there American equivalents?

    Definitely fascinating and charismatic personalities. and Funny.

  8. Sharilyn says:

    I would also add Eddie Izzard to your list, particularly for us over-30s. And rest assured, Conchords have their fair share of fangirls.

    American equivalents? Hmm. I think Joel McHale has a strong female following. But we really don’t have any of those true “rock star” types on this side of the Atlantic, do we?

  9. Pingback: Third Beat » Blog Archive » 10 Tips for a Laminated Just For Laughs Montreal

Back to Top ↑
  • The Colbert Report A-Z

    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents this ultimate unofficial fan guide to The Colbert Report, available now from!