The Just for Laughs hit, The Nasty Show, returns this year at Montreal’s Metropolis theatre for evenings of filth until July 26th. For an uncomfortable perspective, I take my mom on this wacky ride.
Host, Mike Ward, takes the stage decked out in a #JeSuisNasty t-shirt. Once center stage, he points to a guy in the front and calls him out for not clapping: “C’mon man, you’re sitting in the front.” Ward gives us a feel for what’s to come, so we are all well-braced and warns that there will be jokes about Hitler, pedophiles, and Caitlin Jenner’s dry pussy.
What mom thought: He was really good. I loved his comments about Quebec. How can you lose when you only speak one language? A lot of ethnic people think that too. He was entertaining.
Ward introduces Mike Wilmot who launches into various definitions of love. He explains how we need to shake the hate to end up with a fistful of love. Wilmot’s set continues with a focus on his old lady, whom he has been with for over thirty years, and a soundscape of what their sex is like now. Summing up, he says, “I guess what I’m trying to say is: Enjoy your festival!… You have a remarkable show ahead of you!”
What mom thought: I wasn’t that impressed with him. I didn’t like his, I don’t know. I didn’t…
The third guest, “comedy royalty in the UK, he’s such a fucking star, Jimmy Carr” causes the audience to go ballistic. On this particular night, Carr finds himself dealing with a few hecklers, but remember, he’s a professional. Someone from the audience calls out “Are you horny?” and Carr stops immediately to confirm “I beg your pardon? Am I horny?” The heckler confirms what Carr heard and Carr shoots back, “Well, I’m looking at a cunt.” The audience cheers madly at this before allowing Carr to continue with “I’m sorry. I called you a cunt. I doubt you have that depth or capacity to give pleasure.” A second heckler interrupts moments later. These interruptions only helped emphasize how much the rest of Montreal is on Carr’s side. Carr’s responses and attitude make the audience wild, because he’s a professional.
What mom thought: I liked him! I thought he was good. His deliveries were very good. He got off-topic but he came right back.
Ward introduces us to Borat’s prostitute girlfriend, Luenell. After seeing Luenell close at Midnight Surprise, I was more than excited to see her at the Nasty Show. This year marks her first year at the festival. If unfamiliar with the “baked chicken” and “baked turkey” positions, she will show you, demonstrating everything. Her delivery is so unique to her that she can say anything and have an audience cling to it. She ends the set in a statement beginning with “In conclusion”, which sets off a pattern for the rest of the night.
What mom thought: “I found her a little crude.” “Ma, it’s the Nasty Show.” “If that’s the case, she was the nastiest. You know, she was getting down and being really specific. She was the nastiest for me.”
Following intermission, Mike Ward returns to the stage to check in with what people were up to during intermission: a lot of texting and drinking. Ward introduces the next comic as having the funniest podcast, Gilbert Gottfried. Clad in jeans and a plaid shirt, the crowd gives him the warmest of welcomes. “Oh, stop it. Oh, stop,” he waves, “Will you please stop? — well, you didn’t have to stop that quick.” He attacks the touchy subjects of Bill Cosby and pedophilia, because it’s the Nasty Show! His Cosby impression, yes–impression, is likely the only time you’ll see him open his eyes in this lifetime. Following in Luenell’s trend, he ends in a statement beginning with “In conclusion.” For me, Gottfried will always be Aladdin’s Iago and Thumbelina’s Mr. Beetle. Yes, Mr. Gottfried remains the voice of my childhood, even after tonight.
What mom thought: Gilbert was on The Apprentice and he made a fool of himself.
Returning to the stage, Ward introduces the final comic of the night by mentioning his years on the Stern show are the best years of the Stern show, Artie Lange. Lange begins by riffing on Gottfried’s closing bit about Catherine Zeta-Jones. He goes on to talk about the youth of today being too PC, which as a youth of today, I wholeheartedly agree with. Addressing his past and coming back to Godfried’s bit, he also closes with “In conclusion.”
What mom thought: “He was good. I found he was less personable. He didn’t attract me as much. His presence wasn’t like Jim Carrey.” “You mean, Jimmy Carr?” “What did I say?”
“In conclusion”, Ward returns to the stage to close the show and to thank Lange for having dressed up for the evening– he was wearing sweats.
What mom thought: I didn’t think it was as bad as your uncle made it out to be. He made it sound like when he went a girl was so embarrassed that she left. It was a little vulgar, but you know. Luenell was the most explicit.
The Nasty Show runs at The Metropolis from July 23-26 with shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.