Day: July 21, 2007

Live from Montreal: New faces, same old dreams

The New Faces of Comedy showcase is Montreal's version of the Best New Artist Grammy. Most of the 16 stand-ups selected for this week's showcases have several years of experience onstage, but they're new in the eyes of industry scouts, because this is the first step up the festival ladder. A few of the acts don't yet have agents or managers. Is that a good thing? Maria Bamford (one of this year's Masters performers) and I talked briefly about this yesterday. I saw a comedian get an agent and manager — which quickly resulted in a spot on Conan and headlining club dates — out of the Aspen fest this winter. Worked out good for him. But Bamford, who once got two new representation offers out of a festival, said it can almost be like last call at a bar. "Who's the hottest one left here?" she said in one of her trademark voices. "And then the relationship has nowhere left to go." So there's that side of the coin, too. The comics here aren't thinking like that, though. They're looking to be discovered. How are they doing? Last night, I caught half of the New Faces, and several members of the first group devoted most of their time trying to connect to the local Montreal audiences at Kola Note (which should be noted, is the most remote venue...

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Live from Montreal: The Kids in the Hall reunion

The guys from Kids in the Hall reunited onstage for three nights only this week at Just For Laughs in Montreal. Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson hadn’t performed together for a live audience in about five years, and it showed a bit in their personas and in some of the new sketches (especially the opening sketch on the final show Friday, when the guys spent as much time dealing with technical difficulties and laughing at each other as they did on delivering their lines). They also brought back a couple of characters from the Kids in the Hall TV show, including Buddy Cole. But the guys still now how to deliver. McCulloch, particularly, remained a joy to watch as he bounced around and stole scenes through various characters. And the encore — an extended audience-participation take on "I’m crushing your head!" — was more than worth the 90-minute...

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