I had completely forgotten that Carrie Fisher was in The Blues Brothers. The 1980 cinematic masterpiece, that is, not the sequel that should simply have been titled Why?
Both films, though, did warrant a mention by Fisher as she hosted her Just For Laughs Gala. So did politics in Hollywood when it comes to older women, something she has first-hand experience with.
She also spent quite a bit of her time on stage talking about, well, what do you think? Star Wars, of course. This was, after all, Princess (now General) Leia herself, doing comedy in Montreal.
I’ll admit I had to restrain myself from going all-in with the Star Wars puns when starting this review. She was, after all, an icon of my childhood. So…not so long ago, Sunday night to be precise, in a galaxy a few Metro stops away, Carrie Fisher was a Force to be reckoned with onstage…
There. Done. Now on with the show!
It was quite a good show, too. It started off with Brian Posehn nerd-gasming over the host and devoting his entire set to his love of Star Wars and hatred of the prequels (which Fisher wasn’t in…damn, with her absence in Blues Brothers 2000, she’s two for two).
The non-childhood memory enduing highlight for me has to be Ronny Chieng. The current Daily Show correspondent’s set was focused on Asian stereotypes and how he deals with them.
Australian comic Joel Creasey told a rather funny story about a brief Twitter feud he had with fellow Aussie Russel Crowe. Creasey had very good stage presence, though he spoke a bit too quickly for me to catch everything.
We also got Jim Norton’s sort of defense of Donald Trump (not really, but it was funny), Cristela Alonzo’s take on sci-fi realism, Celia Pacquola’s interesting view of rings, Nathan MacIntosh with a quite funny bit on the current state of tech and Ivan Decker talking mangos, of all things.
The night, though, clearly belonged to Fisher. Thanks to her HBO special Wishful Drinking we all know that she can carry a stage show. Thanks to Force Awakens interviews and some of her performances over the years (like the one in the aforementioned Blues Brothers) we know she can be funny.
But can she carry an entire standup show as host? Turns out, yes.
While her bit on other Leia hairdoo options may have been a bit by-the-numbers, though still funny, her opening monologue was a solid bit of standup. While some comics tell personal stories and then try and related them to pop culture, Fisher is pop culture, or at least a huge part of it, so she was able to cut out the middle man, so to speak.
And her song about addiction, another subject which we all know that she knows quite well, was a great way to close the show. Self-aware, casual, honest. It was pure Carrie Fisher.
* Featured image by Eric Myre, courtesy of Just for Laughs