I call this tale… Attack of the sub par stand up comics.
It was your average Monday night. A crew of friends assembled at a friend’s house in the west end and played nine straight rounds of “president” and had a few drinks. We all decided to go to Pour Boy at Manning and Bloor. Living down the street from the bar I had frequented it many times since it opened and really appreciate their selection of beer and prices.
According to a paper sign on the door, it was Quiz Night Monday! Which I remembered Pour Boy hosting before. I’m not big on the quizzes, but the downstairs four person seating was taken for the evening so the eight of us assembled upstairs. The paper sign was wrong, we discovered, as we walked in to a fairly silent room while a man on a microphone was telling jokes. I actually initially thought THAT was a joke as it was not Quiz Monday and he was not very funny. I was also hoping he was the final act as I wasn’t really in the mood to sit in silent and listen to bad comedy. Or even good comedy, to be honest. However shortly after his set another gentleman prompted us to “give a hand” for yet another comedian.
As one or two acts passed a hot awkward feeling washed over my group of friends as we realized nobody was laughing. We also sat barely two steps from where they stood, microphone in hand. Call it civil obligation, or spirited sportsmanship or, beer but we began to laugh… generously. Though the jokes would generally merit a chuckle we gave them a full on hahaha. So for the next two routines we applauded and agreed and cheered on the mediocre comedians.
And THEN! Disaster STRUCK the crowd (the eight of us). A young lady finished her act and the next comedian who went up told us to be quiet. This was pretty funny because it had been silent when we had come in and we there the closest thing to an audience they had going upstairs. We didn’t respond the way he must have thought a group of drunk students on a Monday night would respond, however, as it was a strange request. The pot shots ensued! The group of ‘comedians’ lining the bar found it very amusing. As we are not a group to go down without a fight, there was retaliation.
The man dropped his act to point out how rude we were and told us to shut up. Luckily, there were four or five acts to follow him. All of whom, except ONE, who would drop everything prepared to rag on a group of eight people drinking beer. And I don’t mean rag like they were being funny. I’m pretty sure the only thing they could say was that a friend of mine had a weird shirt and a stupid mustache and that they were going to ejaculate on my/other girls present faces. Four comedians who were begging us to ‘shut up’ so they could do their acts. Yet, when we were all ears they proceeded to insinuate we were mentally challenged “did you guys forget your helmets at home?” or the classic “I remember my first beer”. Material lost to the sea of insecurities.
The cherry on top of the cake was a large angry drunk man, disguised as a stand up comic. He went up, took the mic and began yelling at the top of his lungs about how he was going to “lock all the doors and destroy each and every one of [us].” how he would “smash a bottle over each of [our] heads” and “gladly go to jail for murder” if we didn’t shut up. Then his 5 minutes were over so we’re not sure if he’s a stand up comedian or just a really lonely angry man with a microphone. Again. The acts to follow were slightly apologetic but also a sad attempt at one upping their angry bro. Blah, blah, blah, more pot shots, a very heart felt comedians manifesto from the final comic followed swiftly by a good hour of awkward bar interactions with seething sweaty not funny middle aged men.
I thought perhaps they were all novice and not accustomed to empty bars with a table of young people who are there to drink trying to participate or have a good time. As it turns out, some had been in the game as long as ten years. Ouch. I guess therapy IS pretty expensive.
I’m not sure if the point of this story is to encourage you to avoid a Pour Boy comedy night, as I sincerely appreciate comedy. I just couldn’t tell you if any of the comedians were remotely funny as they all lost their cool and decided to unleash their complicated emotional issues on a group of students. Perhaps the tale is a cautionary one: Don’t give angry drunk people microphones. Or, if you find yourself trapped on the second floor of Pour Boy with sad intoxicated comedians, DO NOT LAUGH. They don’t like it.
is my birthday? I think.