Greg Proops JFL42, Toronto ON, September 21
Published Sep 22, 2018The cards were stacked against Greg Proops before the show even began. Midnight shows are already a bit of a stretch to attend, especially true for comedy fans who have already been at other shows on the same night, as many audience members had due to the binge-indulging nature of JFL42 passes.
On top of that, the doors to the theatre opened 20 minutes late, and the show started half-an-hour later than expected. No matter what's being performed, it's not easy to watch a show that runs past 1:30 a.m.
Some of Proops' material hit hard. His jokes about visceral things like the disgusting nature of men's feet, how weed can make someone laugh and cry at your grandmother's funeral, and how the evolution of opposable thumbs instantly implies the invention of masturbation all elicited solid laughs from the late night crowd, which required more simple premises for their sleep-deprived brains. Likewise, his political jokes about Buck-A-Beer and how they can get gun control in the U.S. also worked well.
However, 1 a.m. was not the ideal time for a lengthy rant on the many faults of white men. Though it was funny to see a straight white man make fun of his own people, the lecture-like nature of some of Proops' humour wasn't built to withstand the slightly grumpy, though sold out, midnight crowd. In summation, the festival's delays were as responsible for the lowlights of the show as Proops himself, but it was still a fun and intelligent hour.