The Just For Laughs Festival is taking place in Montreal, and Art Threat’s Kristi Kouchakji is there to review the politically-tinged humour for us.
Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One-lady Rape About Comedy Starring her Pussy and Little Else
With a title like “Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It” and a no-pants-performance gimmick, it is easy to assume this show is a deconstruction and subversion of rape jokes and rape culture.
What it mostly is, however, is a defence of rape jokes under the guise of free speech. Truscott’s thesis seems to be essentially that rape is bad, but rape jokes are fine so long as they’re funny, and her main objection to the Daniel Tosh scandal of 2012 is that the joke wasn’t funny.
This is where things get a little sticky, since Truscott is right that the Tosh joke wasn’t funny and that free speech needs to be protected, but the problem is that her show isn’t funny and her points aren’t well-argued.
Truscott’s material mainly comes across as some kind of industry-insider axe grinding, and Truscott herself acted as though she was drunk throughout the performance, which certainly didn’t help matters.
Maybe with a careful re-write and a more thoughtful, bigger-picture approach this could be something really interesting, but at the moment it’s a bit of a disappointment that kind of randomly ends with a rape whistle in … a place.
Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It runs at Wiggle Room until July 26th. Tickets available here. If you go, ask for Jeremy to make you an off-menu East Side.
Jerrod Carmichael & Seaton Smith
There’s a fine line between hilariously wrong and just plain wrong. Seaton Smith walked that line very carefully when opening for Jerrod Carmichael Monday night, covering interracial dating, Republicans, and Fox News, among other things, and ending with an insanely funny bit about his Legend of Zelda character’s name.
Jerrod Carmichael, on the other hand, crosses that line very early in the game and never comes back. Rife with domestic violence jokes, classism, moral relativism, and a touch of homophobia, the few good bits are not worth the rest.
Try to catch Seaton Smith in some other context if you can, and give Jerrod Carmichael a wide berth, unless you’ve always wondered what a hundred people collectively cringing in a hot room for 45 minutes looks like.
Seaton Smith is mainly making unannounced guest appearances at JFL this year, and has a show called Mulaney starting on Fox this fall. Jerrod Carmichael performs at Théâtre Ste-Catherine until July 26th, and as part of Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity July 26th. Tickets available here (although really the only reason to go is if you’re trolling your date).
Nikki Glaser doesn’t read books, and she’d like to be as proud of that as people who don’t watch TV. That said, she’s still one pretty smart and funny woman, breaking down porn, internet dating, and street harassment in a way that emphasizes the inherent absurdity of these things without being preachy or inaccessible.
With her equally talented friend Sabrina Jalees opening, this is a solid hour of laughs that deserves a larger venue.
Nikki Glaser is at Katacombes until July 26th, and at the Bill Burr Gala on July 26th. Tickets available here.