Night one at Just for laughs Montreal.

I headed out early to see a 7pm show as I had a spot at 9pm, but walking through the crowds and feeling the excitement in the air here I started to think it’s a bit far away.

The first show was at the Katacombes its a Metal venue really cool with skulls all over the pillars, Last year the door guy recognised me from Pegazus. So I rock in, I have an Industry pass so I can get in to most of the shows free. $5 PABS at the bar and I’m set. I was hanging to see this show It has a few of the same elements as a show i have been writing for the MICF.

This show is called The Goddamn Comedy Jam a mix of music and comedy each show has 3 acts get up do a set then tell a story then sing a song with the band. It starts with a band and the singer/Emcee Josh Adam Meyers a very good comedian from Baltimore, Maryland. They play songs but sing them in a funny way taking the lyrics literally while roadies are rocking out with the band and really getting the room pumped up.  Then Josh does some stand up and then bring on the 1st act.

First up was Kyle Kinane he has been to JFL a couple of times but been around for ages and he was awesome! The whole room were laughing hard! Great jokes and story before the band joined him for Sweet child of Mine. The guitarist has a flying V violin and starts. And they all go off! They really get the crowd up and going with a crazy intensity and energy. The roadies are jumping around the audience then during the solo the guitarist hangs of the balcony playing the violin then running through the crowd.

Next up was Brent Morin he plays Justin in the sitcom Undateable they are all here for the awards show later in the week. He has done this show a few times and like Kyle he was awesome too he got stronger towards the end.Then they jammed out to Are you gonna be my girl by Jet. Fucken Hate that song! Fake as! But anyway, he and they crew just rocked out hard on it! It was very funny and entertaining everyone is going off on stage the roadies are going nuts and the crowd are loving it.

Then Josh announces that they had a special guest Bill Burr but he has had to split early to film something, But we have a special guest coming up instead one of the biggest rockstars in world Dave Grohl! And everyone goes off! It’s Bill Burr with a wig and a pair of sunny’s on and he launches into a brilliant set, everyone was pissing them selves laughing from start to finish. He is a freak! How can you get much better year after year? To be better than the best year after year and you are the best! My face was hurting! If you know Bill Burr you know he love’s playing the drums so they blast out on some Foo Fighters. I couldn’t believe it this is the first show I see and was I going to go to that gig now? Fuck No! So I bolted to see Duncan Trussell he was right in the middle of the main strip a 5 minute walk.

Duncan is awesome I saw him briefly in LA and he did a lot of the stuff he did at the store but he had tweaked it so it was a lot more punchier. his show has a lot of turns and if you Duncan he has a soothing voice and nature that he can really take you anywhere and you will go.,And his closer is awesome I don’t really want to give any jokes away so I’ll just say when he comes to Australia in November go see him.

Then I raced back to the Katacombes to see Tom Segura, I have been wanting to see him live for ages and he was amazing! He smashed the room was rocking with laughter, Like a packed comics lounge with Pommy Johnson destroying. He is heaps funnier live his mannerisms and looks he gives add so much to his like ability.

The whole night was Stand up Comedy at a different level there is a polish to the jokes and a naturalness to these guys from 10-20 years of really hard work.

Lessons 

If my jokes don’t get the same response they are not finished. They can its just a matter of hard egoless work.

Acting out, everyone does it and does it right!

This is the best festival in the world, if only the Melbourne festival would spend some of that crazy money they make from open mic acts each year and spend it on this level of comedian it would inspire and raise the bar in Melbourne. So we all get better. 

Political correctness is way too over the top in Australia the things that get said here are full on and hilarious!

Don’t be afraid to go further it might be where you find your voice.

This was one of the best nights of comedy I have ever seen. 10/10 

Be Cool

Flemo

Stoner Sundays at Vapour central.

Ill make this a quick one as Im in Montreal now and saw some crazy shit last night.

We arrived just before 9pm I was told that I should speak to Mike Rita about jumping up. I have saw Mike the other day and he’s a very funny guy.  Mike was cool he said he had hear about me which is cool.

The show started off with a guy playing some songs as the room filled up its a long room with benches in the first half and tables in the second half of the room all with tables all with vaours and bongs on them.

Mike is Mc tonight and he is really funny a lot of crowd work and his material is gold he is someone to watch out for. There are about 4 acts on then a magician then a few more acts. The acts on before me were good they all got solid laughs while the room filled with smoke its really cool to see no drunk idiots or hecklers just a room full of people smiling. I was pumped up for this spot to try some new stuff out an add on to the Jesus bit and some editing in the new card story.

Before Mike brought me up he had a DABS! Which is a way of Vaping that smashes you hard! So when he did it i could hear this music like a small bagpipe as he to breaths, then I clicked on it was a music track. So there was my opener I thought he was making that noise with the Vapour It went well. The Card story went good but needs some work on editing and tags but Im happy with how its coming along. Jesus went well but the Punchline didn’t get its usual response then the add on went well so I think that will work out.

The crowd here was split it seemed younger at the front and older at the back and everyone stoned out of their brains! And Mike slipped me some cash at the end of the show. Nice!

Lessons Learnt.

Stoner rooms can be harder they don’t pop with laughter for the obvious reasons but they nod their heads along with you and chuckle. 

Record yourself from the back and middle of the room I didn’t think I got much then I listened to my recording and the second half of the room were laughing a lot more than the front which is good to know for editing my set. 

I wasn’t really happy with my set I said Fuck far too much I don’t know why? There is no need for me to even say it once in my set.  I don’t think it was nerves I had a faster rhythm in this set Its just not being aware on stage or being present to being on stage. Next gig no swearing! 

Also talk about what your crowd know about if you mention weed they are gonna be up for it.

Toronto was awesome the scene is crazy! It is massive and the standard of acts are crazy their pros are polished and the new guys are like our good pro guys.

But here is the coolest thing about the open mic scene here, It doesn’t seem to have a clique. People get along, And they are so fucking nice and friendly, there is no body trying to protect their spot or laugh at their mates jokes all night and refuse to laugh at another comedian because they don’t them to get over. No bullying or bagging out others and It was refreshing to not hear an open mic act or anyone walk off stage and say ” I killed it I smashed tonight” They don’t say it because they don’t have ego’s which means they will go home and fix the jokes because they need fixing. Always! Just be cool people!

I will be going back for a long run next year.

You have come up a treat today.

Flemo.

Deathsquad Rock”N” Roll Circus

Last night I went to a club to see the Deathsquad show with Brian Redban and Dean Delray as the headliners. It started a bit late as they were hoping for more people to come in I think. This is a really cool old theatre it would seat about 300-400 people tonight there was about 100 maybe 120.

So the show started with a local band I can’t remember their name Im not here for music anyway. Then an MC came out and did a bit and brought on a burlesque dancer who just stripped! some of the guys were wooing then back to the MC who brought on a twerking group they weren’t ready so he did a bit more then they weren’t ready so we had a quick break.

We return with the twerk group who taught me something valuable! White men can’t jump and white girls can’t twerk! This was funny as fuck they just moved around moving there asses in the air while half of the audience including myself cried with laughter. I can’t write material this funny!

Then Burlesque girl came back then Brian O’Gorman the first stand up for the show he had a really solid set. Then the MC brought up Brian Redban, Now if you don’t know him he is the Producer of The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast which has a massive following! His set was dirty as i expected and he got a good reaction from the crowd he wasn’t a killer but when you feel like you know someone its easier to laugh along because you know their humour.  Next up was Dean Delray, Now I have been looking forward to seeing Dean as he has followed the same path as me Heavy Metal singer to Stand up Comedian.

He had a good set it wasn’t killer but he has only been doing stand up 5 years so I wasn’t expecting him to slay the room. I was hoping he would talk about his music career a bit so I could see how he tells his stories and also how I can relay my music life to story.

Like I said before the show was pretty messy everyone went outside then some came back in for a podcast and Q&A but I had enough by then. I had a quick chat to Brian O’Gorman he told me to head to the Vapour room again tonight and ill be able to do a spot. Then we will catch up with Evan for a Toga party before heading to Montreal for Just For Laughs tomorrow morning. And I have a show that night in Montreal at 8pm somewhere?

Lessons learnt,

White girls who twerk are funny as fuck! If you suck at comedy there is your path right there.

We all here from friends you should do stand up and that is because you know them, but as most of you know that doesn’t translate to a crowd you don’t know. I will see this again in Montreal if you have your own crowd they will go with you because they feel like they know you and have a personal investment in you. 

But if you get your own crowd it would be easy to just do enough to sell and make coin. I don’t want that I really want to hit hard and making new faces laugh.

If you run a show make sure it is smooth and flows without people onstage saying is he here or out front after you have introduced someone.

So tonight Vapour bar and then off to Montreal first thing in the morning. I have a heap of new material i want to try tonight before I have the gigs in Montreal.

Be cool stay in School.

Flemo

The Hotbox show

I am a day behind so ill mix the two nights in one. And thanks for the Birthday wishes everyone.

I messaged Evan Desmarais, Evan is a very funny comedian from Toronto and a very cool dude. He said he could get me on at Hotbox a Vapour Bar in downtown Toronto a Vapour Bar is a bar where people are smoking dope pulling bongs while you try to make them laugh. Sound like fun? Yep!

The stage is outside in a beer garden and there is no microphone you just yell it out. Amanda Runs the room she was really nice and easy going, she told me it can be a really hard crowd cause everyone is stoned and I have 5-7 minutes which was great so I didn’t have to edit my closer (the Jesus bit).I was on ninth which is cool, I can watch a heap of acts before i get up.

The acts were really good even if the crowd wasn’t making noise like at a comedy club they were strong acts. Some were warming up for Just For Laughs which is next week. And the female acts are really strong over here and really funny!

The act up before me was Mini Holmes, Mini is a veteran of comedy You could tell she had being doing it for a long time her voice reminded me of Roseanne Barr. I was a little nervous about not holding a mic thats just what I’m used to So I go up and make a joke about with a name like Hotbox I thought I was doing a gig at a brothel! Then worked on the new bit about my medical card it went well I had everyones attention for the whole gig they really like the family bit and responded well to the Jesus bit especially the build up to the punchline. I didn’t get to do a new bit to finish the spot that I have been hanging to do but hopefully the next gig.

After the show we had a chat with Amanda and Mini they were really nice and Mini suggested I go to the cage cause they would put me up, but Evan was trying to get me on at another Vapour bar that Brian o”Gorman runs so we walked down there and it took ages lol the city is huge not like Melbourne. We got there after it started and again it had some very high level acts on. One stood out he over smiled and laughed through his set and I mean he laughed at everything he said. This is a trick that some acts do which is makes the audience laugh along with them but it starts to wear thin when you’re laughing at a joke that isn’t funny. The funny thing was we were walking back to the bus later that night and saw him and there was no smile in sight.

I got a message from Evan saying it was cool to go up but i got it with a couple of acts to go so I didn’t want to push the show back. So we tried to walk to the Cage but again it looked closer on the map.

Lessons Learnt,

Try different styles and different rooms and step out of the comfort zone. Nothing bad can really ever happen if you go up wanting to learn.

Be yourself on stage just talk to the crowd like you would to your mates if it doesn’t look natural the crowd will click on.

Tonight we are off to see a Deathsquad show with Brian Redban Brian O’Gorman and Dean Delray ( He used to be a metal singer too) So Ill do a review tomorrow.

Can you dig it?

Flemo

The Yuk Yuk gig.

Tuesday night we headed down to Yuk Yuks one of the biggest Comedy clubs in the world. Its a really cool room more wide than long. There was a collage comedy show on first. I saw Bryan O’Gorman who is a Canadian Comedian I have seen kill at the Comics lounge a few times.

A good sized crowd started to fill in after the first show finished, I introduced myself to the MC Jeff Elliot and looked at the running order Im on third It’s a mix of pro’s and newbies about 10 acts so its the same as how I run the Tuesday show at the lounge.

The first act is a sign up on the night spot the only one for the show, Now he wasn’t the strongest act Ive seen! He died hard the other acts were commenting on him and then the MC got up and ripped through him bagging him out too. I have never seen it that full on before. Really good for the nerves which I don’t really get but now?

I moved over to the side as he brought on the next act, This guy is going to Just for Laughs next week and was a slayer one liner act the opposite of me. The Mc came over and said there is someone before you. Thank Fuck for that! This guy was a killer! The next act was a newer act he wasn’t bad but brought it back down a bit.

I have been nervous about what would work and what wouldn’t over here so I wrote a couple of new bits that day about how the bus drivers in Toronto need weed because they are so angry, And a funny story about getting my medical card in LA. so I opened with those two bits and they went well ill the medical card bit has legs.

My family bit went good and strong laughs on the end of that bit. And I finish with the Jesus bit, which was going great until I noticed the red lot was on so I had to jump into the final bit to close the set. But it worked out great I was able to cut a minute off that bit, got a round of applause and said thank you good night and got a couple of fist bumps on the way out. I checked my phone and it was 622secs so I was pissed off for going over time.

The rest of the show was cool every couple of acts were pros and the newbies were good too, After the show I met Ryan who booked me for the gig he was really nice and happy with my set I apologised for going over, He said, ” thats cool that was great when you come back let him know and ill put you on in any of our clubs. Yeehaa!

Lessons learnt

Don’t die on stage here they will let you know it! and everyone else!

I need a new joke or tag in every set, i have an excitement about the set to see if something new works or not it makes me focus So thats cool to know.

Don’t go over time ever! It worked out for me this time but if it happens at another club they will ban you!

I have to run

Tonight I have a gig at Hotbox and maybe another so ill work on the new bit and a tag for the Jesus bit.

Word up!

Flemo

Alt Dot Comedy Lounge Toronto

This will be a quick post and I apologise for the vagueness with the names but this morning I can’t remember much maybe Kim pulled a Bill Cosby on me. Or its still jet lag.

I arrived in Toronto yesterday and tonight we headed into the centre of Toronto to check out a show at the Rivoli Alt Dot Comedy Lounge. There were about 100 people in the audience and the room has a really cool vibe we got in during the Emcee’s spot.

Now I won’t give names out because there were so many acts on doing 10-15mins each I didn’t remember names and there was no list. The opener was very strong he was very funny and very polished as were 90% of the acts on this bill, there was that same fast smooth rhythm that I saw in the states. The second and third act weren’t as good but I could see that they used that rhythm to not give the audience a break, there was no silence on stage just one gear. It really stood out as to why so many acts would adopt this approach.

The next act was Pete Zedlacher he was awesome and really funny, he is doing the Sir Patrick Stewart Gala at Just for laughs this year and really showed why he is on that bill. Then there was a drop off for a couple of acts they had that same rhythm but not the tags along the way. So lets say a tag didn’t hit they were already talking or going into the next bit so there is no silence.

The next few acts were really good an older guy screaming a lot he ended his spot well a guy in a flannel shirt he was the best I can’t find his name but he would kill in Australia. A blonde lady she was also a great act funny all the way. All up there was 14 acts on with no break so it was a long show. The final act only did a few minutes he wasn’t going too well so maybe he bailed.

Lessons learnt,

The whole faster rhythm thing really started to become clear to me at this show. 

Keep them entertained with sound or movement so if it’s not so funny at least you are stimulating other senses.

It is a bit of a trap because you need laughs along the way. I asked Dan Connell about his style of slow story telling and he said he used to talk fast incase someone yelled out something during his set or heckled but that isn’t his true voice and he has slowed down and it works perfect for him cause thats what he is really like.

The smiling thing a lot of the acts in the US and here smile a lot from start to finish which makes you more welcoming and a friendly face is a happy face. 

Tonights gig

So tonight I have a spot at Yuk Yuks which is one of the biggest clubs in the world. But I have no idea what to do fast pace my normal pace it’s a room that is know for saying what you want with no limits which makes me think maybe my early material will work lol. 

I do have a new bit i want to try this isn’t a pro night so its more important to learn what works here for me that trying to impress anyone that will come down the track. 

Dig it the most from coast to coast.

Flemo

The Original Room at the Comedy Store

I was really pumped for the show tonight so I brought a ticket cause the rest of the week it was sold out. So of coarse the room was half full and the manager said no man you get in for free just sit in the comics section haha all cool. there was a few acts on I was really looking forward to seeing. 

First up Bobby Lee, I love Bobby Lee last year I saw him 3 or 4 times each time was better than the last. He was doing all new material and yes full on but he can get away with it. He was great he had the audience off side a bit but he had to run his new stuff, But like a pro he switched to old stuff to finish the set out so the crowd was up for the next act.

I don’t think I mentioned this there is no Emcee just 15min then the next gun for 15mins all night long!

Next up was Duncan Trussell Im a huge fan of Duncan , I saw him last year and he was killing me Duncan is a very spiritual guy so his material is along that line he looked like he was tuning some new stuff too most likely for his Montreal run in a couple of weeks. That is what I love seeing a bit early and then seeing where it ends up with these guys they are on a completely different level.

Next up was Michael Kosta I have only seen youtube of him but like always he was 10times better in the flesh half off the cuff and the rest like a pro lead the audience into his bits seamlessly and he really has that it factor he could just stand there and say nothing and people would watch.

Maz Jobrani is from Iran but a huge act in the states like the rest very good and clever.                                           Kirk Fox was also great we saw him last year and he really stood out this set was very funny and dark he comes across like a redneck serial killer. keep your eye out for him.                                                                                     Christina Pazsitzky is another I wanted to see her podcast she has with her husband Tom Segura Your moms house is huge and will also be in Montreal. She was cool as and running a lot of new material and going dark and dirty and again leaving the stage on a high for the next act.

The next few acts were good but again its hard when one act gets off and half the room just get up and go home so you come out to a tiny crowd. But they just push trough and its crowd work then lead them into your jokes.

Lessons learned 

One trick I noticed was some acts have constant hand movement when talking mostly in the hands, the hands are talking and telling the joke too.

If you have a small crowd you look stupid going straight into your jokes. It doesn’t make sense so chat have a play then ask them a question about what you are about to talk about but make them think they did it.

The old adage of start with your second best joke and finish with your best is always a safe bet when you don’t have a huge comedy toolbox leave the stage with a laugh.

And back home it is embarrassing how PC we have become, the audience go out here and know its all jokes thats it! Say what you want! We are not stupid and we will go with you on a goof! 

Tonight I will head down before and after the UFC its the biggest fight ever!!! But I will see I fly off to Toronto in the morning. I need to prepare for the gig at Yuk Yuks.

Dig it the most from coast to coast.

Flemo