JFL42 Review: Andy Kindler's Alternative Show, Feat. Courtney Gilmour, Jon Dore and Seán Cullen Second City, Toronto ON, September 26
Jackie Pirico and Byron Bowers joined the proceedings at the late-night institution
Published Sep 27, 2019Andy Kindler's "Alternative Show" proved to be a heartwarming mess yet again Thursday night at Second City. After doing a few minutes of scathing material critiquing the names of Canadian cities ("Medicine Hat, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Vancouver") he introduced an array of seasoned comics who, as a collective, broke nearly every comedy etiquette rule in the book. And it was hilarious.
Courtney Gilmour, not to be confused with Nelly Furtado apparently, has become something of a Canadian star, known for her witty self-deprecating humour about being a double-arm amputee. Her delivery is sharp and confident and her jokes original. It was a well-tuned set that got the evening off to a good start.
Jon Dore can do literally no material and make it funny. And that's exactly what he did last night. After coming on stage and promptly leaving three times, chasing Kindler around and insisting on being introduced again, the comedian ate up the rest of his time by repeating, over and over, in different ways, how much he hates cat people. The whole thing was a giant waste of time, but one of the funniest ten minutes of the night.
For her first time on the "Alternative Show," Jackie Pirico danced (literally) onstage as confidently as someone who's been doing it for years. Performing with the enthusiasm of a little kid, she rattled off silly lines about being grinded to a talc on the dance floor and how she prefers to be the only woman in the room at any given time. Pirico's bits are creative and her delivery totally unique; she's a comic to keep an eye on. She ended her set with a recorder performance of the intro to "My Heart Will Go On" (as per audience request) with stunning accuracy — because, hey, it's the "Alternative Show."
Byron Bowers promptly sat down on the edge of the stage after walking out, going into full-fledged story mode. The comedian whispered tales about swimming with sea turtles and learning what "MAGA" stands for, before getting up and leaving without saying anything. Bowers is a skilled storyteller with biting wit.
Seán Cullen (pictured) ended the night with ten minutes of bizarre crowd work and improvised singing about hot dogs. He's clever and funny, and was the perfect act to end the night, as he, one of a time, lured every comedian that preceded him out on stage for a brief dance party. Cullen's act, and what followed it, rounded out an incredible "Alternative Show" extremely well.