Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Ethnic Show


July12th, 7:30 pm, Club Soda

Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

A hilarious jaunt into the hazards of being “different”

What a superb line-up of comedic talent. Hosted by the toweringly tall awesomely engaging Alonzo Bodden, the show zoomed in on the hot singular topic of society’s treatment of ethnics. 

Alonzo Bodden
 The comedians represented were an Asian Australian, an Italian, a French Canadian Arab, a Jew, a Nigerian Londoner, and of course Bodden himself an Afro-American.
Bodden used the audience to start the show by asking individuals their ethnicity/ background, and then the funny lines came. One of his funniest jokes was about why White Supremists are called that:  he commented that they look like the most unsupreme people in the world, referring to their potbellies, and drug smoking ways. Bodden also created some funny Canadian content jokes making fun of Americans and their ignorance of Canada. One particular crazy moment was when he said the best way to get    health care is to be in a car accident because you get full insurance; a car accident would get you help. He also talked about the creepy look of guys and called the “rapey” look of guys even worse. Very funny.

Frank Spadone was the contingency for comic relief. He was pretty bullet-fast brilliant in his wind up about controlling Italian mother-in-laws. He launched into imitation mode of her obsessive directives to him while inside the car and getting out of it, telling him at every move what to do. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t compare to the other comedians; their material was contemporary; his old hat.
Frank Spadone
Rachid Badouri is really funny to watch and his material equally funny to hear. He’s like an elastic band in his movements and his Parkinson joke was punch-funny appropriate. He’s well known in the francophone circuit of comedy, and his crossover into the anglo audience is a true success. Of course, he made some hysterical jokes about hanging out in school with non Arabs. Students viewed him as a cultural quirk – a creature from another planet, and so they tried to trap him with a butterfly net, but things moved up the notch for him with his coterie of pals: “They eventually let me play superpower games, where one kid got to be Superman, another Spiderman, and they told me I could be Aladdin – and even gave me a carpet.” He said he can’t even fly a kite these days because he’s Arab and that doesn’t work for airports. His jokes got him endlessly high laughs.
Rachid Badouri

Ronny Chieng was not a favourite, though his no frills airplane attack had its moments, especially when he referred to an Asian airline offering return flights at $50. “You can’t die twice”. 
Ronny Chieng

 New Yorker, Dan Naturman has a funny whiny voice that suited his material. He started on marriage and how his friends try to sell it, but their lack of enthusiasm is evident. “It’s really difficult; you have to work at it. “He made the car comparison using a monotone voice saying (paraphrasing here), “Can you imagine selling cars that way? It’s really difficult; you have to work it using the same words.”
Dan Naturman

Popular comic was Gina Yashere. Her jokes about returning to her roots, and going back to Nigeria to check it out were hysterical. She wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, “They kill you there.” A proud lesbian she did a hysterical take on her absolute fumbling of the male member, using the long microphone to do it.
Gina Yashere

Ahmed Ahmed
 Likewise, one of my favourites was the star, Ahmed Ahmed; he was daring and awesome. His recreation of what it’s like to get pulled aside at airports – almost every time – because of his name – was side splitting. His brilliant imitation of being pulled into the “brown room” – the place where everyone of colour is there, including an over-tanned Caucasian was genius. He launched into a shtick of the Afro-American customs woman who calls high authorities to report him. (I had the same thing happen to me when I was robbed in Mexico, and I was pulled into that very room, and a beady-eyed black woman gave me nothing but trouble). I swear Ahmed’s imitation of her was exactly a duplicate of the one I had to deal with. Ahmed also said that she seems to appear at every customs point.” Do they hologram her? “

His imitation of ISIS propaganda on TV was equally so.  His voice and body turned into a great exaggeration of the murderous thugs. It allowed us to laugh at them – a perfect example of the benefits of comic relief – we laugh at even the most brutal of groups and horrendous situations.

The Ethnic Show runs until July 19 at Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent Blvd. For reservations, call 514-845-2322 or visit hahaha.com.

See Nancy Snipper's reviews of shows seen at Zoofest