For the second year in a row, Darren Henwood brings ‘My First Time’ to Montreal’s Zoofest at Katacombes. He hosts this show made up of Canada’s rising stars. Three Vancouver comics perform for a warm and excited crowd on what’s a Sunday night.
Clad in suspenders, Henwood opens the show by explaining our fortune in being able to see these comics before they make it big and will cost bags of money to see. He warms the audience by discussing some of his own firsts: first divorce, first real joke he ever wrote, and introduces the first West-coaster of the night, Ryan Williams, who tells us he’s from the “no fun city” of Vancouver. Williams quickly becomes relatable by talking about the idea of giving up on women. He continues to discuss what it’s like to move on a bus, when you don’t have a car of any sort because it’s back at your mom’s house and covered in bees. The bees portion, repeated several times, becomes very reminiscent of Eddie Izzard’s “Covered in Bees” bit.
Making suggestions as to what visitors from Vancouver should do while in Montreal, the charming Henwood suggests Mount Royal and what it means to be a mountain before bringing out Sophie Buddle.
The very young Sophie Buddle is the first of the night to have us fold over from laughter. She primarily talks about relationships, but her funniest moments come from picking on audience members’ reactions. A woman in the front row raises her hand when asked to clap in response to if something regarding relationships is relatable, causing her to get called out for her poor listening skills. “I asked you to clap and you raised your hand.” The audience ate it up. A couple in the front become a target for a moment regarding butt sex, “Uh-oh. I just ruined date night”, Buddle says before moving on. Something unique about Buddle is her ability to take responsibility for her jokes, and never criticizes the audience if the joke doesn’t get a laugh “You don’t like cum jokes. Ok. That one’s on me.” Buddle’s attitude and playfulness on stage allow her get away with, let’s say, a lot.
Headliner James Kennedy spends his last night in Montreal telling jokes and making mouth music. He definitely makes his beatboxing skills work to his advantage in his routine, then hands it over to the audience by asking if they want to hear more, to which they inevitably answer yes. He closes his set with a dubstep parody of Dumb and Dumber, which absolutely kills and ends the night on a high note — pun not intended.
The overall show was a breath of fresh air for what’s brewing in Canadian comedy and I would most certainly love to see what other comics have planned for the upsoming nights of ‘My First Time’. The sizzling Tranna Wintour is set to perform later in the week and never disappoints, so I can only imagine what other surprises Henwood has in store.
My First Time takes place July 14, 15, 17 and 18 at 8:30 p.m. at Les Katacombes (1635 ST Laurent). $21