JFL42 Review: Andy Kindler's Alternative Show, Feat. Nate Bargatze, Michelle Wolf and Adam Christie Second City, Toronto ON, September 25
Jess Salomon, Brandon Ash-Mohammed and Nick Flanagan also showed up at the comedy fest tradition
Published Sep 26, 2019Andy Kindler is not happy to be hosting "The Alternative Show." That's what he says, at least — but who can blame him, when he puts together a seamless lineup like last night's at Second City. After delivering some out-there takes about his own career failures and about how Dateline should be honest about whether victims' lives were really of value, Kindler brought on a range of deserving comedians, all with clever things to say.
Nick Flanagan started the show with a round of jokes about his mental health — the comic stands in solidarity with women by taking birth control, and by birth control, he means a cocktail of antidepressants that ensure he'll never ejaculate again. His set was amusing (albeit not for the faint of heart).
Nate Bargatze proved himself to be a compelling storyteller. The comic grew up feeling dumb: He nearly failed Grade 12 science, were it not for his teacher believing he was so unlikely to go into the field that passing him would not pose a threat to society, and he still doesn't know who Winston Churchill is. His longform comedy is compelling, his delivery humble and his wit biting.
Michelle Wolf graced the stage with a range of impassioned takes on faux-feminism. Wolf is here to challenge the idea that all women are beautiful — and that all women should want to be — and her delivery is so convincing we can absolutely get behind it.
Proudly declaring herself the second redhead of the night, ("That's how you know you're at an alt-comedy show"), Jess Salomon performed a range of endearing jokes on her queerness and her relationship with her wife and comedy partner, Eman El-Husseini. Salomon can make even the Criminal Code of Canada seem funny.
Despite Kindler labelling him a "new kid on the show," Brandon Ash-Mohammed was cool and confident in his delivery of one-liners about his last name, his race and his boyfriend's dog, Science. Yes, his boyfriend named his dog "Science."
Rounding out the late night show with astoundingly accurate self-deprecating jokes and impressively high energy, Adam Christie (pictured) proved himself to be the best of the night. The comedian is well-aware that he looks like both "a poor man's John Mulaney" and "Cashier #2," but he has just as many scathing criticisms of himself as he does about the world around him (including people who say the CN tower looks like a dick). Christie is insightful, high-octane, and uproariously funny.