The cast from Beggar’s Canyon did fine work pairing Star Wars with Christmas, on stage at Toronto’s Comedy Bar
I was anxious to see Beggar’s Canyon’s sketch comedy performance of Star Wars on Christmas. I was anxious because this was not the first time I have encountered the strange combination of Star Wars and Christmas. I have had the misfortune of seeing The Star Wars Holiday Special, which is widely regarded as an unspeakable taint on the entire franchise. I decided to ignore my past mistakes and give the show a try, since it is Christmas-time and everyone is still losing their minds over the teaser trailer for the newest Star Wars installment.
The show at Comedy Bar was surprisingly light on the Star Wars content, even with a group named Beggar’s Canyon. There were only two sketches about the movies. The group The Rocket Scientists did a quick sketch mocking the fickle mob-mentality of Star Wars fans. The second sketch by Beggar’s Canyon was a clever way to twist the franchise into a religious prayer. I thought this sketch hit home. I have met far too many people who would praise the Jedi with the same reverence as Jesus.
Even though they were light on the Star Wars content, they were heavy on the laughs. I appreciated that they didn’t let themselves get roped in by the theme. They gave us a little bit of Christmas, a little bit of Star Wars, and then threw other ridiculous material at us. The jokes hit everything from Archie comics to Shakespeare. With such a variety, they easily got every audience member to double-over once.
The opener was the stand-up comedian Mark Little, who did a quick set that rocked the house. You might recognize Little, since his shirtless body is plastered on the front page of NOW magazine. He summed up that memorable photograph by describing his body as a half-empty milk-bag. Little managed to avoid tired old jokes about marriage and airline food. He didn’t use taboo subjects to prove he had edge. Little brought hilarity out of thin air. He mused about the ridiculousness of Snakes and Ladders and the physical perfection of boybands nowadays. I’d never considered these things until I was laughing about them.
The Rocket Scientists had a brief set. Their sketches seemed a little clunky at first, but they had a solid finale with a twisted take on the Archie comic universe. That ginger-haired serial-dater will never look the same again. I also have to give credit to the persistent use of shirtlessness in their skits. Keep up the good work, gentlemen.
Beggar’s Canyon absolutely charmed me with their oddball sketches. Peter Hill and Ian MacIntyre showed us Gordon Lightfoot’s obsession with the occult. They showed us a man that believes bicycles can only be ridden by homosexuals. They showed us the ultimate teaser for Shakespeare’s greatest works, told by the bard himself. This last sketch warmed my cold English graduate heart.
The night was odd, but in a good way. This was the only performance of Star Wars on Christmas, but I recommend keeping an eye on Beggar’s Canyon, The Rocket Scientists and Mark Little. Merry Christmas, nerds.
- Star Wars on Christmas was performed for only one night but you can find out more about Beggar’s Canyon by checking out their Facebook page. You can also see what else is going on at the Comedy Bar by visiting their website.
Photo of an MacIntyre and Peter Hill provided by Beggar’s Canyon