There's no easier laugh than someone who has been trapped in their ice-covered house for three-plus days, good news for the talented comedians performing at Stir Crazy! (A February Comedy Show). Not like they need the help, mind you. Cheryl Hann, Bob Kerr, Megan McDowell, Sandi Rankaduwa, Struan Sutherland and special guests guarantee a hilarious evening that's not based around sitting in your living room watching Netflix.
Sutherland, a comedian and filmmaker—his short film The Hold Up is currently making festival rounds and will air on CBC—began his foray into stand-up four years ago, taking the trip from Cambridge, Ontario to Toronto with the express purpose of bombing in front of a crowd. "I'd always written comedy in other forms, I'd been interested in filmmaking, but it was the performance aspect of it—being in front of people and hearing reactions right away. I wanted to try it even thought it's out of character for me, I'm a quiet person," says Sutherland. "I started out with a different style, a completely different delivery. I wasn't expected people to laugh at all. I was aiming to bomb. I thought that would be funny."
But when Sutherland read his "weird non-punchlines" from a sheet of paper, he had the opposite effect. "For some reason, people laughed. I failed at bombing but it was a win-win." Sutherland's humour ranges from the absurd to the dark, but he doesn't see that side. "I don't think about it too deeply, I just use what makes me laugh. People say it tends to be dark, but I don't think of it that way, which probably means there's something deeply wrong with me," he says. "It's too disconnected from reality to be dark."
Judge for yourself tonight.
Stir Crazy! (A February Comedy Show)
Thursday, February 19 at 8pm
The Company House, 2202 Gottingen