First impressions: 2015 New Faces of Comedy, Unrepped
There may have been stronger individual stand-ups to emerge out of Montreal's New Faces showcases in years past, but as an overall class, 2015's crop of comedians has proven themselves already as one of the strongest, most unique and full-of-potential groups in years.
Here are my first impressions of the New Faces Unrepped class of 2015. Your impressions may vary...
Tom Brady hates white guys with dreadlocks! This is the half-Indian Tom Brady who performs stand-up comedy we're talking about here, and not the NFL legendary stand-up quarterback. You'd think he might prank some with mistaken identity, but his idea to fool Montrealers is much more sinister, via Craiglist personal ads. He also offers a plan to make Chili's "Margarita Madness" truly maddening. Welcome to the jungle!
If you're a woman who wants to have sex with Caleb Synan, then go for it! I like your odds. Synan grew up in the same hometown as Ty Cobb, which got the comedian to thinking about racism and homophobia and how much has changed, or hasn't, in a century. He's also got a fun closer about how his dad misuses his phone.
Billy Wayne Davis is a single father who can relate to God in both parts of the book. He jokingly noted that his Bible gags fare much better "on the coasts," but you can catch him on the TV having fun across the country in a new CMT special produced by Morgan Spurlock. That's a fun fact aside on my part. Fun fact straight from Billy Wayne: He apologized for not knowing French. "I'm sorry, I took Spanish, because I also took history and knew geography." He also has a beef with ventriloquists, and bonus beef with dummies being racist. Stop it! "He's talking about my Jeff," he mused, playing the role of an audience member.
Megan Gailey crushed it, and not just because she told the jokes she did and stopped to see if her mom was in the audience. She was! She was next to me in line waiting to get in! Gailey opened wryly remaking on the plight of women in comedy, spinning the debate on its axis. Have you seen an open mic? she asked. "I've never felt so smart and beautiful in my whole life!" Gailey exuded a fun spirit and winning charisma onstage, even while describing her all-Irish half-Catholic half-Protestant half-alcoholic family.
Rob Haze didn't need to use more than 10 percent of his brain to come up with his witty routine, although he did let the audience know that trying to use all 100 percent would be a fatal mistake. As for the rest of Haze's body, he revealed he's deceptively out of shape, but distrusts any fitness DVD unless it plays out like a reality show, with the people on the DVD starting out just as unfit as he is. And like many of us, Haze doesn't understand how kale came to become a popular food, nor how anyone could die from gluten. You'll start doubting after this set, too.
Steven Wilber put classic rock radio stations into perspective by thinking about it from his father's perspective, his father's father's perspective, and so on and so forth and what time is it? Time for comedian union quota-fulfillment of dick jokes. Wilber may not be a fan of those, but he is one for pneumonic devices. Are they as catchy as a classic rock song, though?
Chris Charpentier just moved from Denver, and wants you to know that he knows his hair is his best quality. But can his hair tell a joke? Probably on par with whatever anyone has ever told Charpentier in his lifetime about being short -- though at 5-foot-5, he's still taller than both of his parents. I can relate!
Abby Rosenquist from Austin wonders why there aren't any Yo Daddy jokes, but she'll let you figure out quickly that she's figured that out, too. She does have some solid Yo Stepmom jokes, only they're all about her stepmother. Rosenquist also jokes that she'd gain weight before performing in an underwear-only showcase -- just so you think of her as brave instead of slutty. No daddy issues here!
Ryan Donahue's lady wants him to learn Greek, but will Greece still be around once he's fluent? This Boston comedian thinks collecting baseball cards or other sports cards is a fine hobby on paper, but try explaining it out of context and things get weird right quick. Age may just be a number, but Donahue can tell how old you are by what sounds you make when you sit down. So what does it mean when he wonders if ladies sit on their vaginas? Unanswered questions. Mysteries! Men.
Kyle Ayers is too comfortable being a white guy, which maybe you can blame on his upbringing among rednecks in small-town Missouri. Ayers is fairly progressive, though. Progressive enough to know the Pope isn't. Certainly not compared to Beyoncé.
Luis J. Gomez cares more about his baby's face than his body. Which is a good thing. Trust him on that. Although he's also making his 2-year-old watch UFC so he can raise his son to become a warrior, perhaps to make up for his dad getting stabbed to death. Gomez certainly isn't a like father, like son kind of guy. In more ways than the ones described above.