Double Threat may be one of my favorite shows/concepts at Just For Laughs.
It’s so named because you get to see two stand-up comedians on the up-and-up perform back-to-back half-hour sets, typically in a setting that showcases them at their most pure selves, and intimately enough so you really feel as though you’re in the know on something before everyone else decides they love them, too.
Which is perfect for the likes of Janelle James and Tim Dillon, two NYC-based comedians and recent Montreal New Faces from the class of 2016.
I caught them Tuesday night at the end of a six-night run, so in the upstairs black-box of the Montreal Improv (seating capacity: about 75), they performed carefree, loose sets, stopping to work on new bits and interacting with the crowd more than they normally might.
James joked about the lack of catcalling she had experienced so far in Montreal — “Someone called me Mademoiselle and I giggled for three minutes straight” — and the joys and pain (mostly physical) of dating a younger man. “I’m not a man-hater, but you may think that at the end of this show,” she warned. Turned out an unnecessary warning. We feel you, Janelle.
Dillon, meanwhile, is the kind of comedian who will take a phone call two minutes into his set, after a woman in the front row already had left her seat to charge her phone in the outlet next to the stage. Did I mention this was a loose, intimate setting?
Dillon, a former New York City tour bus guide who just happened to get his TV pilot green-lit earlier Tuesday by Comedy Central (the pilot will see Dillon guide tours on a bus through other towns and cities across America), is big and tall, and gay and conservative, and not ashamed of anything. Or if he is, it doesn’t stop him from joking about it.
“I gotta tell this story about sucking dick so I can tell it tomorrow on a better show at midnight,” he cracked at one point.
Dillon also has plenty to say about the people who go on cruise ships for vacations. Oxymorons and morons galore.
“This is my Tonight Show set, people! Do you want to get onboard?!”
Oh, if only The Tonight Show would book Dillon. That we’d all love to see.
In the meantime, catch Tim Dillon and Janelle James separately and on other lineups the rest of this week at JFL Montreal 2018.