Published Jul 27, 2019Trevor Noah greeted a packed Montreal stadium to flashing lights, after playing a self-indulgent video reel that included clips of his own standup, shots of an undisclosed cityscape and footage of him getting out of a nice car. It was The Daily Show host's way of letting the room know: I am a big deal.
The crowd of 20,000 seemed to agree, but personally, this intro didn't leave a great taste. Noah began his set with what felt like 15 minutes of Quebec-specific material, proving that even the greats rely on jokes about Francophones and poutine to warm up a Montreal audience. If you've been to more than one JFL show, this material gets old fast, but it was met with uproar by a loyal audience eating out of the palm of Noah's hand.
Over the course of his hour for the Loud and Clear tour, Noah dove into feminism, cultural appropriation and, of course, Donald Trump. I hadn't seen a Trump impression since the summer of 2017, when just about every comic was doing them at the first JFL following the 2016 election. Noah's is admittedly pretty funny; after all, the comedian's known for his accent and impression work.
His material on menstrual cycles seemed to resonate with the large crowd, as well; he described in detail the time he got a urinary tract infection, ended up peeing blood and experiencing bloating and mood swings from the antibiotics he was on. This all led up to one revelation: he had experienced the closest thing a man could to a period.
The revelation to follow: women, you are so brave for going through this every month.
If you're a woman and you've heard this before, it can feel shallow, and through his whole set it was hard to shake the feeling that Noah was pandering to 50 percent of the room. After his period bit, he went on to explain what a diva cup is and how great they are, which, surely, more than 50 per cent of the room already knows.
He then went on to discuss Justin Trudeau's infamous visit to India in 2018, when he got a little too excited about cultural exchange and began donning sherwanis to meetings and events. Noah did animated impressions of the Prime Minister dancing with Bollywood stars, all to end with the insight that it's better to have a leader who gets too excited about other cultures than one who ignores them all together, believing they don't have the right to exist.
Noah ended his set with a tale about a time he, too, had "Trudeau'd": after growing up with an Indian best friend in South Africa, he developed a love for curry that has led him to believe that now, as a grown man, he has the right to order for every white person in his party when dining at Indian restaurants. And this got him in trouble one time in Edinburgh, when he accidentally adopted an Indian accent mid-order, only to find the waiter spoke with a thick Scottish one. It was a funny story, and displayed the full range of accent work Noah is so well-known for, ending the set on a high note.
Despite a few stale takes about feminism, Noah's set was, overall, pretty funny, and peppered with touches of political commentary that an eager audience was looking for. It wasn't anything particularly novel, but it was an entertaining hour.