Capsule review: Carter Hortie Live at the Waldorf

Carter Hortie is one of my favourite local MCs. He connects quickly with the crowd, controls the room well and doesn’t grandstand between sets. He’s solid and reliable.

He’s a solid, reliable headliner, too. There were quite a few laughs during his Live at the Waldorf special, but nothing that had the audience (or myself) in tears. Hortie’s jokes are safely within most peoples’ comfort zones – never too blue, never too absurd – without being overly predictable. I was disappointed (but not particularly surprised, given how young the crowd appeared to be) to see that the live audience didn’t always seem on board for his jokes about baldness, generation gaps and aging.

Hortie called the audience out on their reticence a couple times.  I’m usually of the opinion that if  a joke doesn’t work, the comic should just move on. In my experience, when comics berate audiences for not responding “properly” to a joke, it makes the audience less likely to laugh at the rest of the set. But this, of course, is not the rule –  Hortie, for example, scolds the crowd as if he were addressing an errant puppy, and it (mostly) works for him. The overall effect is endearing rather than alienating, and they’re back on board in time for the next joke.

As with all of the Live at the Waldorf specials thus far, Hortie’s 45 minutes might not change your life, but it’s definitely worth watching. So head on over to and check it out for just $5.






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