Spit Take Saturday: Just for Laughs Montreal

colin-quinn-artist-pic-330x251Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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At the top of his 1 p.m. Just for Laughs Keynote Address entitled Losers…I mean Loners in Unity, Colin Quinn marvelled, “Do you know how old you have to be to be the serious person at the comedy convention?”  As always, his gruff, stuttering, defiantly lovable persona was by turns self-effacing and unapologetically aggressive. A typical comedy career is not one that reaches a series of levels, he noted, pointing to his own varying successes with Remote Patrol, Tough Crowd and now one-man show Unconstitutional. There will always be ups and downs. And in order to avoid some of those downs, his advice included the following:

Bookers – Stop trying to edit comics’ sets.

Networks – Stop following “established” plans that do nothing but fail (and don’t test market to 14-year-olds).

Club owners – Stop hiring crowd-pleasing hacks. Respect the joke-writing process. Deal with hecklers.

Open micers – It takes five years to get any good. People doing it five years? It takes ten.

Established talent – Don’t be an a**hole. Say something. And above all, just be funny.


Later at Cinquième Salle, host Aidy Bryant brought out the nine New Faces: Characters performers to showcase three game-show style “chunks,” offering a rapid-fire sampler of sketch-style mayhem. Standouts included the versatile, sharp Samantha Martin (whose bit on Bjork ordering a pizza was the evening’s crowd favorite), the avuncular and rubber-voiced Mark Raterman, and the high-energy physical comedy of John Milhiser. The 50/50 split of genders and SNL-bait audition format was a refreshingly theatrical change from the litany of straight, mostly-dude stand-up sets offered elsewhere.


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Spit Take Saturday: Gilda’s LaughFest

LAUGHFEST_final_2Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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I tried to get into the back of the cab, but the driver wouldn’t have it. He wanted to talk, and said he felt weird driving me around Grand Rapids if I wasn’t right there next to him.

That’s the tone of this small Michigan city, and it carries over to its touchstone, a 10-day comedy festival honoring Gilda Radner. You might be from out of town, but you’re in the passenger seat—an honored guest and a welcome addition to the Gilda’s LaughFest roster of impressive stand-up shows. This was only LaughFest’s third year, but they’re poised to become the best comedy festival for fans in the country. They’ve cracked the code: book great comics and get out of their way.



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Spit Take Saturday: Gary Gulman

gary-gulman-inthiseconomy

Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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Despite the title of his latest Comedy Central special, “In This Economy,” Gary Gulman doesn’t really have much to say about the financial state of our country. Money is very much on his mind throughout the special, but his jokes are more microeconomic than macroeconomic, focused primarily on his own one-man financial system. He starts out with a seemingly dated rant against Blockbuster Video, but that soon segues into an amusing bit about Netflix, which cleverly encapsulates the absurd minutiae of the video-streaming service. “In this economy, if you’re not watching a movie, you’re losing money,” Gulman says to explain his obsession with getting the most out of his monthly subscription fee, and he’s certainly not the only person to feel this way.


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Spit Take Saturday: The Best Comedy Releases of 2012 – The year heartfelt comedy melted our steely tickers

notaro.jpeg.CROP.article250-mediumWelcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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1. Tig Notaro, “Live”

There is a way to make everything funny. Everything. And there is no finer example of this concept than Tig Notaro’s accidental comedy gem—an album recorded from a set at Largo that the owner just so happened to tape. Having recently received a cancer diagnosis, Notaro is honest in a way that’s not only inspiring for other comedians, but for everyone hoping to face problems head on. Notaro does so with immeasurable grace and wit, letting the world know that comedy is her armor, and that truth in comedy isn’t just a catchy phrase, it’s a goddamn prerequisite.


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