This was my final day in Montreal for the Just for Laughs festival. I went to 3 shows and was lucky enough to be joined by my 2 best friends for the whole day! We went wandering the streets during the day and then got ourselves ready for my 4th Tim Minchin show of the festival! Mike and Sacha had only seen Tim at the AMP’d music show the previous night. It was awesome improvised mayhem, but he was only on for 10 minutes. They were looking forward to more.
Double Threat Down Under – Jarred Christmas, Rove McManus, Tim Minchin
Mike, Sacha and I successfully chatted our way into front row seats, which made me very happy. What made me even happier was to see a massive baby grand piano sitting on the stage! Even at the show in Toronto, the piano was a boring upright. Jarred Christmas was the compere for the evening. I like Jarred a lot from his appearances on Jon Richardson’s show and various podcasts that I listen to. He made it easy to see why he got the best compere award from Chortle this year! He got the crowd going and did some material about the world cup (causing confusion since we call it soccer, and we have our own league of Canadian football). Jarred then introduced Rove McManus. Now, I only know Rove from seeing him interview people like Ross Noble on his chat show. I wasn’t hugely impressed with Rove’s standup, but it was solid. He was delightfully self deprecating and charismatic. I’m very happy he was opening. Jarred came back on and did a short set while the crew pushed the massive piano into the middle of the stage. Jarred tried to ‘help’ by putting the 3-legged stool in front of the piano and by talking to one of the stage hands. As retaliation, the stage hand in question brought out the piano bench out and put it on top of Jarred’s stool. Tim was introduced and did his usual bumbling around on stage before he usually slinks back to the piano and does a song without having said much to the audience. Because of the double-stool situation, this plan was slightly foiled and Tim just insulted Jarred while setting himself up. Once it all got going, he played a STUNNING version of ‘Rock and Roll Nerd’. The piano sounded gorgeous! Tim was on fine form! And I found myself closing my eyes to hear the gorgeous bass tones of the piano. The sound was so full, it sent shivers up my spine! Sacha had told me that she really wanted to see Tim play RaRN so she was delighted! Tim then spoke to a young looking girl in the audience and did a bit that I’d seen in Toronto about the meaning of words, and how Tim’s not a role model... he’s a fashion icon. I love the awkwardness of Tim’s standup style. It’s charming and adds an absurdity to the really grand songs! He then asked the young looking girl if her name was Sarah. It wasn’t. He then pointed at me and said ‘her name’s Sarah, she’s my stalker’. The crowd tittered awkwardly, but my friends were delighted. Tim then made the segue that this song was for his Sarah, not me and did ‘If I didn’t have you’. As I was sitting front row centre, about 2 feet from Tim, I got the weird halo effect of the stage lights reflecting in his hair. That was very cool, but I also got the unfortunate side effect of their incredible heat. After a gorgeous display of wiggles, Tim sat down and played ‘Inflatable You’. I was hoping for another song since it’s not my favourite, but it was appropriate as someone had brought a blowup doll which was sitting at her table. After the song Tim pointed it out and had her throw it up on stage. He examined what was under the t-shirt it was wearing. It looked pretty gross. He made a quip about it being the perfect woman, if you’re sad and alone, then threw it back at the girl. Tim wasn’t sure how much time he had left, and eventually decided he would play one more song. After having heard it so many times on lesser pianos, I was hoping for ‘You Grew on Me’ again. Instead he played ‘The Pope Song’. I think I’ve reached my saturation point for that song as I found my lips moving to the words without really thinking about it. The song has gone down really well in Canada and he left the stage to more rapturous applause. I’ve been surprised and delighted to see how many Canadians love and have heard of Tim at all the shows and I’m hoping this will mean that he does more shows here in the future. Jarred, Tim and Rove all came back out for a curtain call and Rove handed me his camera, asking me to take pictures of them. I got one decent one, and a pretty bad one. I was foiled by the double-flash of a camera for the first time of last night. After the show, Sacha, Mike and I waited around so that we could see Tim and I was hoping to see Jarred and Rove as well. I got a quick ‘Hello, good set’ to Jarred before he escaped. Rove and Tim stuck around for a lot longer. We took some photos with Rove and waited around for the hoard of people mobbing Tim to disperse a bit before approaching him.
Eventually we did and I got a big hello and kiss. Sacha and Mike introduced themselves a bit and I made some slightly self-deprecating remarks along the lines of ‘See? I have real friends!’. Tim was lovely, as always and we took a few photos.
Group shot! Best friends with Minchin! Does it get any better?
He also signed the little Just for Laughs folder that was holding my tickets. He drew a little moustache on it and signed it. I got a big hug goodbye, which my friend Mike tried to take a photo of.
Foiled by the double-flash. Aren't we pretty?
Sadly, we were foiled by the double flash again and it looks like this. Sacha, Mike and I then wandered away, delighted. Sacha and I went to our next show, and Mike went back to the hostel for a little while.
Sacha and Mike sharing and atheist-front hug just after Tim's show. Aren't they cute?
Jim Jeffries – Alcoholocaust
Sacha and I found the venue for Jim Jeffries and got seats at the front.
Right before Jim Jeffries' show. This is one of the few ones from the evening where double-flash wasn't an issue.
Jim started off with some material about women, and relationships which I found a little bit too much. Women DO pay for their own drinks, and comedy tickets, and we’re not all psycho bitches. The jokes were alright, but it’s a bit of a tired theme in comedy. Then Jim moved onto some material about religion. This won me back very quickly but seemed to lose the rest of the crowd. So Jim moved swiftly along a very long 25 minute story. It was amazing! I don’t want to spoil too much, but it’s basically about his friend who is almost completely paralysed from muscular dystrophy and how he’d never been with a woman. The story was beautifully told and included lots of wonderful details! It had me laughing all the way through! At the end of this story, Jim realised that he had 5 minutes left in his hour and chatted with the audience for a little bit. To the point where he sorta pimped himself out to the audience and told us a (hopefully fake, but you never know) room number and the hotel he was at. He also told us that Jimmy Carr was in the audience and compared the sexual experiences of himself and Jimmy who’s in a very long-term relationship. I think he left the show with ‘any questions?’. It was a thoroughly enjoyable show! I’m glad I picked the variety of people that I did at the festival because after the previous acts I’d seen it was nice to see someone say ‘cunt’ so many times.
Jamie Kilstein – No God, No War, No Nickelback
Sacha and I made our way over to meet Mike at Jamie’s venue. I’ll tell you now, I didn’t get much sleep the night before, maybe 6 hours and the jager-bomb (jagermeister dropped into half a can of red bull) I’d had before Jim’s show had worn off a bit. Luckily, I was really excited to see Jamie again and that kept me going. I sat in the second row off to the side. I’ve met Jamie a few times now and I know that it can throw him off a little if someone he knows is sitting right at the front. He thanked us all for coming and mentioned that he’d forgotten to promote the show because he was too busy promoting Wednesday’s show (when HBO executives were coming) and Saturday’s show (when his Dad is driving up from New Jersey to see it). I’d seen a fair amount of the material before, but he had re-worded/modified some of it since the last time, and he kept going on little tangents because he started saying the extra little thoughts that were in his head. Most of them were related to the paranoia of his Dad coming on Saturday and some strange bitterness about the girls who broke his heart in high school. These things added a little new flair to the stories I’d heard before and, as someone who adores Jamie’s quirks, insecurities and neuroses, these made me laugh like a maniac. Jamie has a tendency to really fast-talking and take no pauses when he gets going on a rant or long story, so the crowd was holding back laughter a bit so they could hear the rest of his stories. He noticed this about 40 minutes in and said something like ‘Oh, if I leave a pause, you guys will laugh... you don’t all hate me’. It was true, I’m used to Jamie’s style so I was laughing throughout the show, but I think the rest of the audience wasn’t sure how to deal with it. Either way, I loved the show and was happy to see the Church of the Smiling Vagina and the Christian Side-Hug which both started their life on Citizen Radio (the radio show that Jamie and his wife Allison host). Jamie ended the show with a story about his Dad (which also originated on Citizen Radio) because he couldn’t do it when his Dad would be in the audience on Saturday. After the show I said hello to Jamie, who was happy to see me and happy that I brought my friends. And I finally introduced myself to Allison. I know I’ve spoken to Jamie while she’s been there a few times before, but I’ve never actually introduced myself. She was really lovely and I’m glad I said hello. Jamie asked if I’d be going back to the Hyatt hotel bar (where all the comedians hang out). I had convinced Sacha and Mike to join me there, so we walked over.
I was incredibly tired by this point, but I’m still so thrilled that I went back to the bar. As we walked in Justin Schlegel spotted me and came over for hugs. He and his friends also commented on my tits. So that was a bit awkward. Once my friends and I got a bottle of wine and found a place to sit, I had perked up a bit. It might’ve been the wine, or just the excitement at everyone, but I gained a little more energy. As we were chatting, I spotted Colin Mochrie across the room. Sacha, Mike and I all love ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ so we decided that we’d go over and say hello. He was so lovely! I said how much I liked ‘Whose Line’, especially the old UK episodes, asked what he was doing in town (doing a panel discussion), and how long he was here for (he left the next day to go to India). We chatted for what seemed like quite a long while and finally got a picture with the legend himself.
It's Colin FUCKING Mochrie!! What a legend!
I did a little more wandering around the bar, and saw Noel Fielding. I hadn’t met him yet, and didn’t get a chance to tell him how much I enjoyed his show, so I said hello. I felt a bit rude as he was chatting to some other people, but I went with the ‘now or never’ mentality. I asked why he hadn’t done his standup show in the UK, but in Canada. Apparantly he’s too busy in the UK to do the show, but has the time to come to Canada for 2 weeks to do it. Either way, I’m glad he came. He told us that he’d just recorded a Boosh album in New York and that he was busy working on a new TV show. I asked for more details, but he didn’t have any. I’ll keep an eye out for it. Then we took a photo.
Noel Fielding! Once again that night, I was foiled by the double-flash. So sorry it looks terrible. It’s all I got.
Sacha, Mike and I then moved on and sat back down to chat a little more. Jamie came by, and quickly said hi. He mentioned that Doug Stanhope was doing an ‘anti-Montreal festival’ somewhere nearby. I was interested in checking it out, but it was already really late and we were all really tired. At this point, Tom Wrigglesworth came by looking for his wife/fiancée, Lulu (sorry, I don’t know if they’ve gotten married yet). She had gone somewhere, so he sat down with us for a moment. We had a good little chat about the show, when Lulu joined us. The conversation continued the curly-headed madness between Mike and Tom, the legal privileges of diplomats (it made sense at the time) and rolling cigarettes (we don’t do it here). They were both very lovely people. I hope we can hang out in Edinburgh a little bit more. Tom and Lulu went out for a smoke and we hung out a little longer. Jamie came by again, we talked for a while longer, discussing the Christian Side-Hug a little bit more, before exchanging proper, atheist front-hugs and goodbyes. It was last-call at the bar, so we decided to wander the bar once more so I could say bye to the people who I met over my time at the festival. We went outside to the patio/smoking area where Tim Key had been hiding... seemingly all night. We had a little bit of a chat with him as well, I got to ask him the all important question. The answer is 6. He had 6 different notebooks in his new suit for Slutcracker. I also know that he’s going to be in Edinburgh from the 8th taking part in The Horne Section. I’m now more tempted to see it. Des Bishop also was out there and I got a hug. So did Sacha (they’d not met before... but Sacha’s a hottie and Des was feeling friendly). Tom and Lulu were standing next to Key, so I gave them each a hug on the way out. Tom is very tall. I like hugging tall people. On our way out, Justin Schlegel saw me again and gave me yet more hugs and yet more compliments about my tits. What a charmer. And that’s it. The end of the festival.
We walked home, getting poutine (and onion rings for me, I don’t like the idea of it) on the way home.
4am onion rings after 4 days of awesome comedy? That is a really tired but really happy Sarah!
What a great few days! Today was rough on very little sleep and getting back to reality. But it was all worth it. I had a great time, met lots of awesome people and laughed a lot! What more could I ask for? If I met you in Montreal, thanks so much for making my festival great! And if I didn’t, thanks so much for reading! If you like comedy stories, I’m going to Edinburgh in just over 3 weeks, so there will be lots more bloggage. Probably only when I get back though, I don’t want to have the responsibility of bringing a laptop with me. Thanks for reading everyone and sorry about the stupid long rambling nature of this.