Jon Dore reveals big news at Just for Laughs gig

Jon Dore reveals big news at Just for Laughs gig

Jon Dore made two announcements at his first of two shows at The Rivoli as part of the Toronto Just for Laughs festival: 1. Everyone in attendance wasted their money on tickets to his show when they could have put it towards tickets to Sarah Silverman’s event; and 2. The Jon Dore Television Show will not be renewed for a third season on the Comedy Network.

Jon Dore made two announcements at his first of two shows at The Rivoli as part of the Toronto Just for Laughs festival: 1) Everyone in attendance wasted their money on tickets to his show when they could have put it towards tickets to Sarah Silverman’s event; and 2) The Jon Dore Television Show will not be renewed for a third season on the Comedy Network. But as everyone bitterly pointed out, The Keys to the VIP will be back next season.

The opening of the show provided some Dore on “midget” (Andre Arruda) violence. That was the first hint that nothing would be off-topic at “The Jon Dore Television Show’s Writers and Jon Dore of The Jon Dore Television Show Stand-Up Comedy Show Show” (yes, that’s the title). Of course, 10 minutes into the performance Dore declared he was out of material so he jumped into the “racist” joke he’d saved for the end.

First in the line-up was Laurie Elliott. “Queen of the awkward stage entrance,” she overacted her way to the stage from the rear of the audience. Elliott radiated a nervous energy and wore a smile that spread from ear-to-ear. She had a slow start, but got better as she became more comfortable on stage. Her early delivery undermined some of the punch lines; nonetheless, her best joke was used in the beginning of her act when she described how her husband was mistaken for a murderer. The remainder touched on lewd pick-up lines, truck-stop hookers and excrement.

Dore then returned to the stage to show scenes from the TV show that were cut because they were too controversial. The star of one was “Roger, the aborted baby fetus” and the other featured a community-friendly swastika. You can form your own opinions based on those descriptions.

Next up was Mark Forward. He slowed the pace, taking a lot of pauses in between speaking and gradually building to the punch line. One segment opened with, “The brain’s crazy, eh?” His best joke explained why we should not give serial killers nicknames because they may have had a different one in mind. The low points included Michael Jackson humour as an instrumental version of “Man in the Mirror” played in the background and a one-sided conversation with the stage furniture. Forward ended his section with a suicide joke. Then he and Dore acted out an absurd Santa role-playing skit that ended in violence.

Finally, Steve Patterson took the stage as the third performer and announced, “This is the best celebration of a cancelled show ever!” He explained that joining a gym is like applying for a job, wondering what you have to say to be turned away and then giving amusing examples. Patterson also made a very true but amusing point that Gatorade commercials always feature athletes even though a whole other market of people use it as a hangover remedy. It turns out Patterson was the highlight of the night.

Dore returned to the stage to close the show. No subject was too controversial, as he attempted to joke about civil rights, the Holocaust, racism and stereotypes, miscarriages and Hiroshima; then acknowledged, “I’ve said some horrible things tonight.” He even attempted a game of spin the bottle, which transformed into an opportunity to interact/insult the audience. One wonders if the constant presence of a beer bottle in his hand may have been a contributing factor. After a shot of Jägermeister, Dore pointed out that this was the only occupation that allowed you to drink while working even though he’d probably be drunk by the end of the night.

The show concluded with a skit that started with fake fishing and evolved into spitting beer and groping Patterson. After almost three hours, this felt like overkill. To that point, the show seemed to be operating without a clock, starting 20 minutes late and turning a 10-minute intermission into almost 20 minutes.