Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard

And writing about comedy and making it sound funny is harder still.

Here’s an account of some retroactive fun things, which really should be the name of my next band.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Royal Cinema to take in “Found vs Found” which was billed as a essentially a popularity contest between the editors of Found Magazine and the guys behind the Found Footage Festival.  I had seen the footage guys on a whim at Largo in LA and had really enjoyed their show.  The two friends troll yard sales and second hand stores around the US and Canada looking for the most ridiculous videotape they can find.  And find it they do – home videos, exercise tapes, cable access, corporate stuff.  Brilliant, amazing, fabulously low-fi and with all the stylin’ and fashions you may have missed from the 80s.  Found Magazine features print predominantly.  Single pages from letters that read extremely oddly out of context, weird signs, receipts.  They warring factions squared off with their best material in three half hour periods to determine who had funnier stuff.  I think I preferred the video overall (I mean, who can resist Winnebago Man – the angriest salesman in the world?) but the print guys definitely had some quality material.  How is this for an actual receipt?:



Ski Mask


That should have made for an interesting evening.

I laughed my head off at the fantastic array of corporate safety videos that painstakingly reenacted potential job site injuries, and I recommend you look up Marc Morrone on YouTube with his fabulous writhing cable access pet show.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZS0diVzjxg

If either of these teams find their way back to Toronto I recommend you check them out.

Saturday night I went to check out a friend of mine performing in Sketchfest.  Ted Sutton and his writing partner Mike Kiss have a comedy duo called “Deadpan Powerpoint”.  They dress in suits and perform … well, a powerpoint presentation with extremely dry delivery.  The first of the two presentations was on “How To Form A Sketch Comedy Troupe”.  The second was called “7 Habits of Highly Effective Dogs” and was ostensibly supposed to have been delivered in a kennel.  They were both hilarious.  On the bill were two other troupes.  The first was Charles, a duo from Seattle.  They opened with a long sketch involving an increasingly hostile game of remote Jenga which was very funny.  Jape is a four man team from Toronto and they were great as well, but my man Ted took the prize as far as I was concerned.

Sketchfest is EXACTLY the kind of thing I like.  I really enjoy comedy, it is often performed is small clubs and usually the ticket prices are pretty reasonable.  The organization certainly need to work on their press coverage.  I am quite surprised that I hadn’t heard of the Festival until Ted told me about it.  I was less surprised that Ted forgot to do any kind of self promotion until his first show had already passed by.  I will harass him from now on and the next time he performs I will post it in advance.  By the way, I think Ted is the same age as me.  He isn’t.

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