First impressions: 2015 New Faces of Comedy, Group 1

Very impressed by the number of strong, unique voices Montreal’s Just For Laughs has plucked for New Faces in 2015.

Please note, as the headline suggests, these are my first impressions from this group, and your impressions may vary. Also: Side Note: How about two of these comedians developing clever set-ups for impersonations, eh? How about that…

Rob Gleeson: Or is he Dave? David Letterman? What may be an unmemorable opening closes with a strong finish, and somewhere in the middle, Gleeson questions his sexual identity, which may have you questioning yours, too. Boy, is that an awkward conversation to have with your parents. And Gleeson has no shortage of those, let him tell you!

Matthew Broussard: He knows you know he looks like the douchebag villain from most 1980s movies. Surprise, though: He thinks college, college kids and college comedy shows are dumb, even if they’re still willing to book him as counter-programming. Some nifty wordplay (“vaginal imperialism,” ladies?!) and phrases you’ll want to repeat later, as our host, Dana Gould, even did. Example: “The death stare of 1,000 gender studies majors.”

Julio Torres: With a white coat matching his frosty hairdo, Torres wants to apologize early and often for his veganism. He’s the comic with a great set-up for a series of impersonations. Really draws you in as an audience member.

Dulce Sloan: She bought a $65 bra and wants you to know that and see that, but please, stop trying to touch her afro! That said, she shall continue to work on her white boy mating call. Wish her luck if you see her in the Hyatt lounge this weekend, for there are plenty of potential mates to be found and deals to be sealed!

Nate Fernald: He doesn’t mention his “award” winning Spider-Man Tweet in Canada, but he does have a lot of fun with microphones and sex moves in this set. Can’t help wondering how his character from Louie would have fared at New Faces…

John Early: He’s here, he’s queer, he’s very much West Village New York City now, and let’s get real talk, people. “For sure.” “And now you have me in my sexual prime,” Early boasted last night. “Check out my new face!” Lots of buzz about Early coming into Montreal, so maybe he should stop romanticizing the grittiness of his New York existence and get out of fake Brooklyn while he can.

Leonard Ouzts: A very likable 22-year-old from Virginia, he reminds me of a young Lavell Crawford. Ouzts already is worried he’ll make an “unfit” parent, and relays stories to us about growing up with his parents as they went back to college during his high-school years.

Claire Mulaney: Mulaney shared a singular story about a disaster with her friends as they all tried eating pot cake. She’s already one season into a gig writing for Saturday Night Live, so don’t worry. Things work out for her in the end. (Spoiler alert?)

Jak Knight: So funny when comedians — especially New Faces — still take a moment to react to the crowd or the moment. Even more so when Knight noticed an audience member in the front row. “Just wear shorts for the thing that means the most to me in my life!” Funnier even when the lights came up afterward and you see that the shorts-wearing audience members are from a different New Faces group (!!). Also, Knight himself was sporting a Sonics (RIP) cap. Funny young man from Seattle who remembers his yearbook calling him “most likely to be the father.”

Pat Regan: Both groups of New Faces closed tonight with acts that weren’t like the others. In Group 1’s case, Regan is a musical comedian with a guitar, whose first song revealed himself to be a mama’s boy, and second revealed what it’s like to date a hardboiled egg. Good call putting him last.

If you missed these New Faces on Wednesday night, then you can see them again Friday night at The Wiggle Room.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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