As one of the most-loved, longest-running shows at Just For Laughs, every edition of The Nasty Show comes with bigger shoes to fill. Not one to shy away from expectations, host Ari Shaffir opened the show—featuring Robert Kelly, Jimmy Carr, Yamaneika Saunders, Godfrey and Big Jay Oakerson — with a bible story, an intriguing, attention grabbing choice to start to off a show that was sure to take the audience even further from God than we were when we started.
The show was full of laugh-out-loud shocking moments – Yamaneika Saunders’ anecdotes about being 39 and single, getting jealous at the romantic dedication of a pedophile who drove 12 hours to see a child on To Catch A Predator, were matched only by Big Jay Oakerson’s disappointment at his daughters’ inevitable failure to turn out as a lesbian and his ruminations on his biggest fear (Hint: It’s not death or public speaking).
Robert Kelly had a lot to say on the subject of aging, from learning to hate your friends to rationing your remaining summers when you realize that you aren’t going to live forever. He says that he has a solid 30 left, and they are rapidly counting down. Considering that in Montreal, summer this year started very late, and has been mostly rain, I’d say that whatever I estimate my own years of remaining summer to be are probably overly optimistic.
Gofrey certainly stole the show in terms of physical comedy. His demonstration-laden observations on the admirable confidence of Creepy Dudes, and ruminations on ‘the one time it must have worked’ was even better than his rendition of Melania Trump. Surprisingly, this was the only set where the current state of American politics came up at all.
Jimmy Carr read most of his jokes, which made him feel a bit less engaged with the audience than the other performers. However, his jokes were much more Montreal-centric than those of the other comedians, so it did feel like more of a personalized performance. Of all the dicks, butts, talk of underage girls, and general Nastiness of The Nasty Show, the only thing that seemed to cross the line for this audience was when Carr made a few jokes at the expense of Montreal patron saint Céline Dion. Stay classy, Montreal!
The spirit of the times nowadays is to police ourselves over sensitive topics.
We’re used to making sure that anything that we say, or that could possibly be construed from our actions, is as inoffensive as possible. Though this is important, it’s also important to remember that we can make fun of ourselves.
In this way, The Nasty Show is surprisingly refreshing. I had almost forgotten that we could flip the script and joke about the negative aspects that connect us, bridging the gap over otherwise untouchable waters. There’s a reason this one’s a classic.
The Nasty Show runs until July 29th at Metropolis as part of Just For Laughs. Tickets available through hahaha.com
* Featured image of Ari Shaffir by Nicolas Abou, courtesy Just for Laughs