I’ve really got to get out more and laugh! It was great to see so many people out on a Monday night enjoying the creative talents of people who put themselves out there just to give us some brief satisfaction in our lives! “Stand-up” Comedy has got to be the hardest skill imaginable! After all, what more pressure can one have than a room full of blank-faced ordinary people waiting to be entertained?
The annual Cream of Comedy gala event, presented by The Tim Sims Encouragement Fund and held at The Second City, was established by Lindsay Leese in 1995, and supports and promotes promising comedic performers in the early stages of their careers. The comedians not only get exposure but the winners receive the prestigious Tim Sims award along with a $5000 cash prize.
This event was hosted by Ryan Belleville, a successful and talented Canadian comedian and actor who was outrageously funny and charming that night. His effervescent personality carried the show through to the end up until we excitedly awaited the final results of the show.
Set in the cozy lounge of The Second City main space, an enthusiastic full house anticipated the five acts that were to follow. Specifically hand-picked by the 2011 TSEF ( The Tim Sims Encouragement Fund) Jury, the comedic acts showcased three solo performers and two group performances, each distinctly different from the other.
D.J. Demers was the first to open the show with his keen observation skills and playful attitude. Recently nominated for a 2011 Canadian Comedy Award for “Best Stand-up Newcomer,” D.J. Demers brings his personal experience of hearing impairment to his act. His candidness, vulnerability and keen insight are a crowd pleaser!
Among my personal favourites was the following solo act performed by Kirk Jorgenson. A bit more serious, and a bit more stern in his approach, Jorgenson’s subtlety and quick-wittedness in his ability to deliver honest and hilarious anecdotes were executed with great precision. It is not a surprise he was the recipient of the recent Mark Breslin Award for Stand-up Comedy.
Act 1 ends with the “British Teeth” duo, Filip Jeremic and Allana Reoch. Highly theatrical, adorned in costumes and performing various comedy sketches, Jeremic and Reoch animate and create well-known characters, starting from a B-boy and B-girl in Bethlehem, to lovers from Gone with the Wind.
The wild ruckus continues with one of the freshest comedians of the group, Mark Edwards. At first, Edwards appears unassuming, but his quirky and non-stop witticisms soon put the entire audience in uproarious laughter.
The final act leaves us fully satisfied, as I finish my last sweet potatoe fry and my guest and I enjoy three final performances by a sketch troupe of 4 actors known as “Fratwurst.” Edgy, innovative and original, the group creates a TTC Subway vignette that is outrageously funny and clever. I look forward to seeing more of their work in the upcoming Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival coming up this week!
I wouldn’t have wanted to be part of the judging panel as each act was so uniquely funny, blending their own unique personalities and skills to the show. But of course, there can only be one winner, and the prestigious win went to comedy sketch duo “British Teeth.” I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was any of the five acts!
Cream of Comedy presented at The Second City was truly an amusing evening and I should really give myself the luxury of frequenting this venue a bit more, especially on a weeknight! Just the laughs we need to start of the work week – affordable and fun at the same time.
– Cream of Comedy presented by The Tim Sims Encouragement Fund took place on Monday, November 7th at 8pm at The Second City, 51 Mercer Street . More information on this event can be found at www.secondcity.com.
– The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival will be taking place November 8th-November 13th at The Second City, Lower Ossington Bar and Comedy Bar. More information on these events can be found at www.torontosketchfest.com and by calling 647-505-1050.
Photograph of Winners Filip Jeremic and Allana Reoch taken by Dan Abramovici.