Saturday night and another great line-up of comedy, this time at the Comedy Bar on the Danforth, near Victoria Park. It was nearly a full house for the second night of the brand new Danforth Comedy Festival and I was thrilled to be introduced to headliner Nathan Macintosh who blew the roof off the place!
First off, MC Azfar Ali (below) warmed up the already pumped crowd, spritzing with several individuals who were very into the show. He set the tone perfectly for all the comics and maintained the high-energy in the room throughout the entire night.Azfar first intro’d Simone Holder (below) who I had seen the previous night at a different venue. She did not disappoint, unleashing a series of stories on being a “lady of a certain age”, sex and life seen thru the eyes of being single. Simone rocked it!Then Akeem Hoyte-Charles (below) took the stage – well, he actually “took” the room. His fast-fire commentary on being the best boyfriend in the world had the ladies swooning and the guys a little nervous…LOL. Imagine Kevin Hart meets Eddie Murphy and you get the idea how talented this guy is.Next up, Luke Lynndale (below) who had the crowd laughing in recognition when discussing the pro’s and con’s of supermarket self check-outs and the dilemma of shopping when there are no carts available. And his bit on socializing in the dog park, well…if you have a dog, you’ll understand completely.Then came the big guy! Nathan Macintosh knocked it out of the park. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a stand-up’s set so much, applauding and cheering, begging for an encore. Nathan is the real thing. I ran Yuk Yuk’s Komedy Klub back in the 80s and always loved discovering brilliant comedic talents over the years, and seeing Nathan headline was like the first time watching the acerbic delivery of New Yorker Ritch Shydner (true comedy fans should recognize that name).
Tonight, Sunday Aug.6 I’m heading back to the Comedy Bar to see another cool line-up with headliner Efthimios Nasiopoulos – perfect for Greektown! Hope to see you there.
For show line-ups, dates & times, visit: www.danforthcomedyfestival.com
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Last night (Fri. Aug. 4) the first annual Danforth Comedy Festival (Aug 4-6 & 11-12) launched with two rockin’ shows at Socap Comedy Theatre (Danforth & Broadview) and Comedy Bar (Danforth & Main). I attended the Socap showcase featuring some of the funniest stand-up comics I’d seen in years. The fest’s first showcase “The Best Stand-up Comedy Show” was MC’d by Max Ross (pictured below) who grabbed the audience from the get-go with his observational humour, and kept the show running smoothly throughout the night.Max intro’d the first act, Vishal Ramesh (pictured below), whose understated personal reflections on the immigrant life had the crowd laughing and nodding in agreement as they recognized versions of themselves.I was looking forward to seeing Simone Holder (pictured below), who won last year’s “Prove You’re a Comic” contest. The audience loved her and it didn’t hurt that she had a slew of fans who came out to support her. Simone was a hard act to follow but Sandra Battaglini (below) proved unstoppable, the audience was almost in tears with her high-energy, quick fire comic jabs. Made me wish I was Italian, too!After Sandra, it was Glen Foster‘s turn to light a fire under the audience seats. He ignited a slow burn, taking the predominantly 20 to 30-something audience through the “wonderful world of wokeness” sharing his views on life and culture from a decidedly mature POV.Mary Kennedy (below) then took over the stage and she killed it. A professional comic for over 23 years, you may have seen her acting on tv, film or theatre, too. Originally from Boston, she just flew in from LA for the festival.MC Max kept the energy high throughout the night, introducing the final comedian with flair and a flourish – the handsome Akeem Hoyte-Charles (below) who many recognized from his appearances at Just For Laughs. Born in Montreal on Valentine’s Day, the audience gladly showed the love to Akeem as he closed out the night.And if that wasn’t a hot enough line-up, Festival founder and established stand-up Luke Lynndale himself dropped in for a killer, energy-filled set mid-show, thanking the audience for their support. Bravo, Luke, and congrats on launching the festival with a bang!So that was last night’s show…tonight I’m off to the Comedy Bar at 2800 Danforth (just E of Main) to see another great line-up featuring Nathan MacIntosh…see you there.Details of shows, tickets, directions: www.danforthcomedyfestival.com
Follow all the comedians on Instagram: @maxrosscomedy @vishalanegondyramesh @_simonecomedy_ @sandrabattaglini @fosterfunnycomedy @mkennedycomedy @akeemgramz @lukelynndale @comedynuggets @danforthcomedyfestival