The Just for Laughs' 2012 30th anniversary edition kicked off last night, unleashing "Pit Bull of Comedy" Bobby Slayton's first go of the season as, after a two-year absence, returning host of the comedy fest's longest running and most popular show of all time, The Nasty Show, where no bodily fluid, marital dysfunction nor related activity goes unmentioned. In vivid detail.
And Slayton was in top form, leaving no one immune to his comedic wrath -- even the Bronfmans were fair game -- frequently matched by esteemed colleagues, including rising Denver comic Ben Roy, who, unlike the bulk of his peers, is actually quite thrilled with his marriage. Fingers crossed this dirty, recovering alcoholic makes it on the fast track because he's too good not to make it to the top of the comedic food chain. The other massive highlight was Nasty Show alumnus Mike Wilmot. There's no point in describing the guy, just Google him. Or watch this.
Weaker points involved comedy's answer to haute couture's ultimate faux pas: wearing the same five-figure dress twice, or in the case of Paula Bel and former South Park writer Brian Keith Etheridge, recycling material and/or angles that go back years. Big picture considered, they're both talented, I just felt like I was listening to a friend who's already told me that story or fed me the same punchline before, which, big picture considered, was hilarious the first time round.
And finally, South Floridian Mike Lawrence, one of the newer faces on the circuit, was properly raunched and pretty solid -- "I worked at McDonald's for seven years. Because when you love life, life loves you back." Chances are we haven't seen the last of his sharp, incisive self-deprecation.
The Nasty Show runs July 10 through July 15 and then July 27 and July 28, 2012. Admission $39.50 plus service charge. Buy tickets.
- Just for Laughs 2012: Top Highlights
- Receive the Montreal Newsletter
- Have Your Say in the Forum
- Follow Me on Twitter
- Like Me on Facebook
In line with About.com's and the New York Times Company's full disclosure policy, readers should be aware that Evelyn Reid was provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of reviewing The Nasty Show, a common procedure in the entertainment industry. Also note that the latter gratuity has not influenced this review. For more information on full disclosure at About.com, please consult our ethics policy.