Toronto comedy brought to K-W

(Will Huang -- Staff Photographer)
(Will Huang — Staff Photographer)

The Toronto Comedy All-Stars visited Little Theatre with a big impact on Saturday, November 9. The weather may have been cold, but the laughter within was warm and inviting. Danish Anwar did an impressive job of hosting the show and making sure things ran smoothly, while Andrew Barr, Big Norm and Tim Golden had the sold-out show holding their sides laughing until the very end.

“If you want to make a movie, you go to L.A. right? Well if you want to do comedy, you come to Toronto,” said Danish Anwar, emcee and producer of the Toronto Comedy All-Stars. “So what you end up getting is a huge collection of supremely talented comedians that never get in front of a big audience and hardly anyone knows their name. Many famous comedians are often stunned by the overall quality of comedy in local Toronto clubs and bars when visiting the area.”

The venue was larger than expected but still provided the necessary atmosphere. Little Theatre was charming and perfect for the size of the show while simple enough not to distract from the performance.

“This is our first show in Kitchener-Waterloo but definitely not the last. [Little Theatre] I really like, it’s small but it’s beautiful. We were pleasantly surprised,” Anwar mentioned in an interview with The Cord.

As the show was a success, and with news that The Toronto Comedy All-Stars are looking to return, it’ll be interesting to see how they will take their game to the next level. As show is well-constructed and the talent is stellar, advertising and promotion look to be the focus point next time around.

“Logistically we could do some things a little better. This was our first time around so we used social media for advertising—we used ads on Facebook, press releases, that sort of thing. Next time around we’ll probably go on a larger scale; you might see billboards and newspaper ads,” mused Anwar.
With all the excitement and preparation that goes into hosting and working with a comedy tour, sometimes the workload can be less than humerous. However, despite the hectic schedule some comedians simply enjoy the thrill of being on stage in front of crowd while others love to travel.

“[I like] getting to see all the towns I’ve never been in before. I’ve traveled a fair bit around the world, but in Canada I’ve only been to places like Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto; I’ve never been in Guelph before, Waterloo, Stratford or Hamilton. I also like being able to expand my range as people’s humor in Toronto is obviously different than that of Waterloo and Guelph.”
During the hour and a half show, it was hard to find any flaws or inconsistencies within the performers as they presented themselves as far from amateurs. Overall the only set seemingly in need of some work was Tim Golden’s as the mood transition could have been smoother. However, the funniest sets would have to go to Big Norm and Nitish Sakhuja.

YouTube may be an easier way to watch stand-up but absolutely nothing compares to the atmosphere and feeling of being right in front of the comedian and connected through laughter with those around you. Once experienced, Canadian comedy is quite different than other places in the world due to the sheer quality and effort incorporated in the set. Although it may be a rare occurrence that comedy makes a splash in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, the success of The Toronto Comedy All-Star is hopefully a sign that more is sure to come.

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