One Mic Stand – Whistler, Oct. 8, 2011

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AMANDA SAYS:

 

 

 

 

BRIAN SAYS:

Amanda:

We made the trek up to Whistler on Saturday to catch One Mic Stand, which was billed as ‘the return of professional standup comedy to Whistler.’  Carter Hortie MC’ed the Johnny Scoop/Kelly Dyer co-prodcution that featured middle Sean Emeny, headliner Patrick Maliha and special guest Kelly Dyer.

I’ve got to say, I don’t have many complaints. (Crazy, right?) The space had great sightlines and, from where we were sitting, great acoustics too. The crowd was plenty and plenty receptive.

I did have two relatively minor issues: first, the show started an hour late. Ordinarily, this really would have pissed me off. But we were on vacation and the longer it was delayed, the larger and more fun the crowd got. I always enjoy a show more when the crowd is decent, so this wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

My only other real issue was how understaffed the GLC was. I only saw three servers, and the crowd numbered somewhere around 150 people. They did admirably – I would have lost my cool if I were that overworked – but they handled the pressure gracefully. The staff-to-customer ratio meant that it was quicker to get up and get yourself a drink, which also meant missing some of the jokes. It wasn’t a sacrifice I was willing to make, but most people seemed content to get their own drinks, or to wait for the server to come around.

Brian:

I don’t have much to add here. The space was great, and I wouldn’t hesitate to venture back to Whistler to see a comedy show there again.

Amanda:

Carter Hortie is a great MC. ‘Nuff said.

Brian:

Hortie is fantastic with an audience. He knows when people aren’t paying attention, he does what he can to get their attention back and jokes about it all in the process. This was the first time I got to see Hortie really have to deal with a heckler. And man, was he good. He talked rough, but kept it playful so as not to make the crowd uncomfortable. Hortie is the perfect MC, for sure. Although, I still would like to see him as a headliner.

Amanda:

Alright. I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m kind of a huge Sean Emeny fan. He’s consistently funny; insightful but not political, offbeat but not off-putting, and observational but not boring. He’s not usually all that controversial, either, but he did a couple bits at the GLC that were a little risque – the topics included dead dogs and dead grandparents. Both were very well-written and delivered. And because I’m the sort of person that will laugh at any joke as long as it’s good, I enjoyed them. But it seemed like a lot of the rest of the crowd wasn’t on board. Fortunately, Emeny quickly picked up on the fact that they weren’t having it and changed tacks, ending strong.

Brian:

The jokes that come out of Emeny’s mind are unbelievable. Sometimes he pokes fun at himself and other times his train of thought is very bizarre. But even when he’s talking about things that are unconventional, I find myself realizing that I’ve thought, at one time or another, of the very things he’s talking about. And that’s why he works so well on stage, because he’s relatable. I truly believe that when the audience groans at one of his jokes, it’s only because they realize they share the same idiosyncrasies with him.

Amanda:

Kelly Dyer, who co-produced the event with Johnny Scoop, was partly responsible for the room being so full. And it showed when he went up. He interacted loosely and familiarly with the audience, name-dropping instead of just saying ‘my friend,’ and chatting back to the hecklers he knew. The crowd ate it right up. It was definitely one of the better sets I’ve seen from him, but it still didn’t quite work for me. His jokes are decent (though not particularly inventive), but he tends to throw away his punchlines a bit. He’s got good presence, though, and he’s not afraid to be a little self-deprecating, which definitely works in his favour. He’s a far cry from terrible,  but he just doesn’t wow me. (Yet.)

Brian:

I’m on the same page as Amanda, in that I have yet to find something about Dyer’s set that I really enjoy. I can tell he has all the ingredients of some great jokes, but for the most part, they fall flat (for me, at least). The crowd seemed to like him, regardless of how many friends he brought. I do commend him, though, for co-producing an amazing show with Scoop.

Amanda:

Honestly, I didn’t quite get Patrick Maliha at first. I always enjoyed him, but he never really had me rolling in the aisles. One Mic Stand changed that. Maliha’s set was almost revelatory for me. He was at his dirtiest, riskiest and most unconventional. I laughed so hard my face hurt, and then I laughed some more. Maliha is not afraid to offend – in fact, he seems to delight in seeing how far he can push boundaries. With the Whistler crowd, he was able to push the boundaries pretty damn far. And when it didn’t work (only once), he moved on so quickly and completely that they almost didn’t have time to realize they hadn’t laughed. As always, his impressions were excellent. Maliha can pull off Stephen Hawking. That’s pretty damn impressive. (Seriously, why doesn’t he have a TV show?) I think he went a little over time, but I’m not sure. I was having too much fun to pay attention to the clock.

Brian:

Maliha is a pro, and I expected nothing less from him than the amazing performance he delivered at the GLC. In fact, he was better than I expected. Like Amanda, I’ve never laughed as hard at his set than I did this time. His jokes flowed, he had a great time with the audience (and they with him), and he rocked his impressions. It was an A+ performance. And as for the Stephen Hawking impression mentioned above? Brilliant. Just brilliant.

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