Second City: Silly and Serious

Second City Toronto is a wonderful place. I’ve an affinity beyond just the typical comedy fan for a very good reason: my time as a member of the comedy cohort there. Well it was just a camp for a week, but I did tell some jokes on a tiny side stage that got some laughs.

But I do the professionals I saw on stage last night a disservice by sharing such a silly anecdote. The six comedians were just the dose of Toronto self-love I needed before going back to Queen’s. There were many references in their sketches, especially in the first half of the show, to places in the West End of the city near my house.

The show I saw with a friend last night, she’s one of the coolest people I know and a fantastic artist, is called ‘Party Today, Panic Tomorrow’. It featured two halves, about an hour and forty five minutes with the intermission.

The show was semi-political. Some sketches had nothing to do with anything but funny situations others feautured messages of body positivity, female empowerment and fuck Donald Trump. These are all the things I needed to affirm my views and values.

It makes me happy to see what people who like to laugh and just not care about other peoples business can do. It was not a judgment of anything else but more a demonstration of how tricky it can be to be a nice, decent person in our crazy modern times. It may sound a bit cliché but the ridiculous nature of half the shit happening in this world made the familiarity refreshing.

That’s not to say I didn’t laugh, I’m just a thinker – probably not to my advantage. I do not find comedy in movies very entertaining at the moment so I was a little unsure what to expect. It’s the Apatow effect I think – the man’s movies have changed comedy in the same way that Curry’s shot has changed basketball.

But this was classic gold. The show was at its best with the interactions of the characters in scenes. This style of art needs to explore its themes through character interactions or else it doesn’t deliver. I was happy to see the form used to full effect.

I must say I’m a bit of a fanboy for shows of any kind. I love watching performances for the transportation they offer from outside of my reality. Good shows, like this, create a compelling new way to look at our lives while also being interesting in and of themselves. They should make you consider what your reality is made up of, what qualities it has, etc.

Clearly, the Second City achieved that last night.



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