The McComedy Show (Twitchin Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Shannon McDonoughIf you’ve ever flipped through the channels before, ceaselessly searching for something new and exciting, you’ll love The McComedy Show by Twitchin Productions at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

This one-woman show satirizes many of the TV shows on air today, from Toddlers & Tiaras to Law & Order, with a handful of celebrity impersonations and invented personae thrown in for good measure. Co-writers Shannon McDonough and Michael McLean capture the essence of some of the TV shows that flood our networks.

It alternates between McDonough’s live performance and, while she transitions characters, a projected TV screen. This makes sense – the show is about TV, after all – but I found McDonough’s performance to be far more engaging. Occasionally, the TV content falls flat, and, personally, I would love to see her transition characters onstage.

McDonough’s performance is buzzing with energy. She skilfully brings over a dozen characters to life, changing her looks, physicality, and voice. Minus the odd accent slip, she nails it.

Highlights for me include the psychic medium (“I sense that someone drove in a car tonight…Or took public transit!”), the North Bay call-in show, and the toxic beauty products on Home Shopping with Shirley. These characters are hilarious and take well-aimed jabs at the quality of programs that occupy our screens.

Every once in a while, the segments feel on the long side, and I’m not crazy about the number of “calls”. There are some that are hilarious – one involving whipped cream – but I would prefer more interaction with McDonough’s exciting energy.

The framing device is confusing. It explores McDonough’s ironic relationship with TV as a producer, actor, and consumer. It feels underdeveloped, however; I either want more or none at all. It’s not necessary to enjoy the show, but it could be an interesting thread to connect the various TV shows and give us someone to relate to personally.

Overall, The McComedy Show is an entertaining whirlwind of characters and well-known TV. If you’re a fan of satire, put it on your list!


  • The McComedy Show is playing at the Tarragon Theatre Solo Room.
  • Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the peformance. Venue sales are cash-only.
  • Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.
  • Warnings: Mature Language, Audience Participation.

Remaining Showtimes:
July 04 at 01:30 PM
July 05 at 06:15 PM
July 06 at 04:00 PM
July 07 at 06:45 PM
July 09 at 09:45 PM
July 10 at 05:15 PM
July 11 at 06:15 PM

Photo provided by the company.