Just for Laughs – Sarah Silverman, David Cross and more – and then some Russel Peters just for fun

By Megan Mooney

It’s Just for Laughs time in Toronto. 

Last night I saw the gala hosted by Sarah Silverman.  It was a ‘star-studded affair’ and a great deal of fun.  Along with Silverman we had the comedy of John Mulaney, Todd GlassArj Baker, David Cross and Louis CK.

I fully expected Silverman to be far and away my favourite, but I have to say, it was Louis CK that blew me away.  Seriously, I was laughing so hard I had tears pouring down my face.  Why have I not heard more about this man?  Seriously.  I hurt from laughing so much, the man is *literally* painfully funny.

Another admission – I kind of felt like David Cross was just being shocking for the sake of being shocking.  Honestly, the material was mostly boring for me, sure the pedophilia and rape jokes were shocking, and clearly offensive to some of the folks in the audience, but I really didn’t think they were that funny. 

All the comics had ‘shocking’ material, but it actually felt like the material was part of a joke, instead of part of an experiment to see how far they could push the audience.  Silverman is known for raunchy material.  And, although some of what is funny about it is the juxtoposition between her super-cute demeanour and looks, most of it is that the material is actually funny, the point really does seem to be to make us laugh, not make us cringe. 

Overall though, the show was great fun.  I was very glad to be introduced to the work of John Mulaney too.  He may not have had me in tears, but he sure as hell had me laughing my ass off.  Three out of 6 folks leaving me laughing my ass off, well, that’s pretty good.

Speaking of ‘off-colour humour’, Russel Peters is going to be at Yonge Dundas Square for free at 8:30 tonight.  He’s also a bloody funny guy, so check him out.  No tickets are necessary, it’s part of free programming all weekend by the Just for Laughs Festival that they’re calling ‘Street Arts’  A block of Yonge Street is blocked off and the place is filled with free comedy.  Check it out!