With the fall semester now into full swing, what better way to unwind than with comedy?
Enter the Algonquin Commons Theatre Comedy Series, with the first show headlined by Bryan Callen.
The theatre was almost a full house, with approximately 500 seats out of 700 filled.There was loud cheers and applause when Callen first appeared on the stage. Callen said he was “happy to be in Ottawa” also saying it was his first time being here as he is American.
He warmed up the audience by trying to relate to them, mostly with Canadian stereotypes, saying that if he lived here he would skate to work and is “very Canadian in sensibility” before jumping into his act filled with his vulgar, sexual and profanity-filled jokes that he is also known for in his successful podcast, The Fighter & The Kid.
He also pleased the audience with his usual stand-up antics with lots of grand gestures by running around the stage, using the stool on stage as a prop, talking with his hands and making wild facial expressions.
Although Callen knew what would appeal to his audience and had them roaring with laughter, there were a few dissenting opinions in the audience.
Callen also bragged about his acting credentials, listing some of his roles on Entourage, Sex and the City, and his most successful one being the comedy sketch show MADtv. He also told the audience to “watch how good of an actor I am” when he made up a scenario in which he impersonated a classically generic 1800’s British villain trying to seduce a female member of the audience.
His show was also inconsistent, with no linear storyline or a smooth transition to what Callen would talk about next.
He would talk about his personal life, situations he has been involved in with Hollywood and his family and friends with no connecting storyline between them. This had some audience members confused and unsure what to laugh at.
At one point in his show, Callen was talking about being with his kids on the beach, then saying “Hold up, let’s back up a bit. I need to tell you this story. I think my son is friends with the devil.” And after telling this story, he went back to his joke about being on the beach.
Callen took notice of this, saying “I know I’ve been all over the place tonight but follow me.”
Callen did make up for his shortcomings by ending his show by taking audience requests for slow motion scenarios to the song Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.
Most of the audience asked for sexual scenarios which Callen had no problem abiding by.
Callen received a standing ovation and met audience members for drinks in the lobby of the Algonquin Commons Theatre after the show.