Last night, Montreal’s home grown finest proved that this city produces some of the best comedy talent around.

DeAnne Smith’s Escape Room

As we mentioned before, this is a big edition of Just For Laughs for DeAnne Smith (referred to here as ‘her’, with apologies to her many preferred non-gendered identifiers like ‘hot Harry Potter’ or more recently ‘Jonathan Tilda Thomas’). With a run of her show “Escape Room”, being part of the Trevor Noah Galas and also recording a half-hour stand-up special for Netflix.

It seems like we’re almost past the stage where we can refer to DeAnne as blowing up and just start embracing that she is a talented, established part of comedy in 2018.

Stay tuned for the DeAnne Smith Gala at the 2022 Edition of Just for Laughs!

DeAnne actually brought a truncated version of “Escape Room” to the stage at Mainline. Electing to offer up a 30 minute version of her hilarious exploration of fears and anxiety and trying to figure out just what we’re so intent on escaping from, followed by 30 minutes of other material as she is clearly putting the finishing touches on her Netflix taping.

The approach was a blessing and a curse. Smith is sometimes at her best when she gets lost (or, the audience perceives she is getting lost, it could well be well oiled comedic timing) in a meandering side-road of derailed self examination, and with a more tightly managed clock some of that magic was lost. But on the other hand, the second half hour featured some of DeAnne’s most polished material and Smith was in fine form.

Escape Room runs until July 24th.
Trevor Noah Galas are Saturday July 28th (DeAnne is on the 8:30 show)
DeAnne’s Netflix taping is July 29th (Requires a JFL Pass, cannot be bought as a single ticket)
All of DeAnne’s JFL hijinks are here.

Rad Dads!

Is this shameless promotion of a show that featured 3 past guests of Go Plug Yourself and was hosted by my co-host? Sure. Was it an amazing night of comedy at the hands of hilarious parents? Also yes.

Walter Lyng and Reese Turner became dads together. Not of the same child. Of different children. But at almost the same time. Their babies were born a week apart.

For many parenthood means setting aside the wildness and impetuousness of youth. That is not the case for Reese and Walter. Instead they decided to just keep being rad. Or possibly they became even more rad.

What effectively became an evening of “anti-Dad jokes” the boys opened up their stage to some of the raddest dads (and the raddest dad of all, a rad mom) in comedy. The show feature the advertised likes of Steve Patrick Adams, Ellie MacDonald and Ali Hassan and also surprises appearances from Nasty Show comedians Montreal’s own Derek Seguin and New Yorker Aaron Berg.

I’m not sure if it was the intention of a show that was ostensibly about celebrating parenthood but so much of the comedy on display seemed to make me kind of happy I wasn’t a dad.

Stories about kids putting their hands down their pants, future parents passing out at prenatal classes and multiple allusions (from both Walter and Steve Patrick Adams) that children may be associated with the Lord of Darkness filled the evening (along with jokes featuring just about every bodily fluid a human body can produce).

Also of note, this was Ellie MacDonald’s final set as a comedian. She’s decided to pursue other interests creatively. It was a delight to see her play to the sold-out crowd of Café Cleopatra as a sort of unannounced send-off.

Sadly Rad Dads! was a one-night-only affair, but I’m sure we’ll see future installments popping up soon.

In the meantime, do yourself a favour and check out some of the very funny local talents filling out the OFF-JFL/Zoofest part of JFL. This city and its funny people deserve your love.

Keith does all sorts of things here on, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.