Daniel Stolfi’s Finding Funny is leaving Toronto audiences in stitches
You and Me Entertainment‘s one-man show, Finding Funny, is about a man (played by Daniel Stolfi) who feels he’s lost his comedic mojo and embarks on a journey to find it. It definitely found my funny bone tonight at Bad Dog Theatre. I’d wager a bet that if I said that in front of Stolfi, he’d answer “that’s what she said!”
Stolfi, who I found to be super versatile, played several different characters at an open mic night. To me, they were all consistent and well-defined even though he switched rapidly back and forth between them and often without aid of lighting or stage exiting.
They ranged from the super awkward funny-in-his-lack-of-humour “MC” to the French “Clown” — hilarious in his giant red glasses and creative fart jokes. That’s right: my inner 12-year old boy was thoroughly satisfied with the sexual puns, fart sounds, and dick jokes. I’ve mentioned previously that I do love some low-brow humour. In this regard, Stolfi did not disappoint!
It wasn’t all low-brow puns, though. I found some depth and emotion here too.
In between the various other characters — the “Mexican guy”, the “Gay guy”, The “Magician”, and the “Italian guy” — Stolfi takes us back in time as himself plagued by a voice in his head. Reminiscing on the first time he became aware of the “audience” — a sad schoolmate on the playground — he speaks of laughter and of how good it feels to laugh and to make people laugh. Given the lightness my show companion Caryhn and I left with, I’d say I agree.
Aside from a few bits it was mostly a non-stop laugh fest. One of the best parts for me was when, after a particularly ridiculous bit, Stolfi laughed at himself. My favourite part was when he announced that he liked to “fuck with the audience”. He looked around then focused on me and Caryhn, front-row centre in the lovely, intimate theatre, and pointed at me.
“You! What’s your ethnic background?” After I replied “Scottish, French, and Irish” he quipped “TERRORIST!” and everyone, especially me, roared. I LOVE when I get picked on!
As usual, Caryhn and I weren’t super thrilled with the same parts, namely the stereotypical, and less hilarious portrayals of both the “Mexican” and “Gay” characters. To me, they felt too clichéd, maybe slightly offensive. However, they weren’t a huge part of the overall performance which we both really enjoyed.
Did he Find Funny? I thought so and with a radiant, lively energy, too. Even when he was ridiculous and seemingly pointless, he made it hilarious. I’m not surprised that tonight’s show was sold out, and I won’t be surprised if the final show does too.
Photo of Daniel Stolfi provided by the company.