Sara Dahms is a comedy superfan who even goes so far as to call herself a comedy nerd. She travels all over the country checking out the best comedy everywhere, a confirmed comedy addict, and now she shares her travels with us. You can read her ongoing column right here on The Interrobang.
“The Nasty Show” is everything the name suggests it to be and a great deal more. This year for their 35th birthday, the Just For Laughs comedy festival has gifted its patrons with a stellar line-up of absolute killers including first time host, Ari Shaffir, and featured performances by the filthy and hilarious Robert Kelly, Yamaneika Saunders, Jimmy Carr, Godfrey and headliner, Big Jay Oakerson.
Ari Shaffir, who’s Netflix special “Double Negative” just dropped on July 18th, did an outstanding job manning the ship as first time host and each and every one of the featured comedians completely nailed their set and won the room. It was cringe-humor at it’s absolute best. No subject matter was off limits and that is exactly the way it should be. Here are a few of the highlights of the night.
Ari Shaffir, who was once on course to becoming rabbi, got my biggest laugh of the evening with a joke about Jewish people being pushy and how this characteristic might present itself within the concentration camps of World War 2. Finding the funny within this most sensitive of subject matters is exactly what “The Nasty Show” is all about, pearl clutchers need not apply.
Robert Kelly told funny stories about his young son Maximus that were both nasty and relatable as a parent. This is a very delicate balance that can only be pulled off by the most seasoned professionals. This included a horror story about the joys of potty training and the lengths he was willing to go to relieve him from the pain of a nasty diaper rash. He ended his set by bringing his son out on stage to take a bow. It was the perfect ending to a perfect set.
Yamaneika Saunders came out next and just in case the audience was feeling a bit too warm and fuzzy from the unexpected cameo from Robert Kelly’s adorable son, she hit us with the perfect antidote to bring the house back to the deviant state of mind we needed in order to be ready for the rest of the evening… She said, “I would have brought my baby out on stage too, but I aborted it!” This woman is a power house. The name of the game is nasty and she nailed it!
Jimmy Carr was the next featured act to grace the stage. Carr was the 2015 Just For Laughs “Roast Battle” champion and he did not let his skills as a master roaster go to waste. First, an audience member yelled out “you’re a cunt” to which Jimmy replied, “I would call you a cunt, but I’m sure you don’t have the depth or capacity to give pleasure.” Then he turned on the city of Montreal and proceeded to tear it apart limb from limb. Brilliant!
Godfrey was the first comedian of the second act of the show and his energy and presence was exactly what we needed to get our heads back in the game after intermission. His jokes about Trump, Trudeau, and Cosby got him some of the biggest laughs of the night. This came as no surprise to me. He is always a crowd favorite and rightfully so.
Last, but certainly not least, was the king of cringe-humor himself, Big Jay Oakerson. If you’ve ever seen him live, watched his specials, or listened to his podcast, “Legion of Skanks” then you know, he was made for this! Some of my favorite stories he told involved his daughter, Isabella. He made some very convincing arguments for why he would like his daughter to be gay and how he recently discovered that his little, baby girl has fully blossomed into womanhood. Jay has an incredibly unique gift for being both filthy, dirty and extremely likable at the very same time. This dichotomy allows him to win over crowd after crowd, listener after listener, time and time again. Big Jay Oakerson is relatively young, but still one of the absolute comedic greats of our time…. and his star only continues to rise.
The Nasty Show runs until July 29, at Metropolis. Don’t miss it!