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Something funny’s going on at the Imperial Pub, hangout of Ryerson students and homesick Brits.

“I’m gonna explain to you in a few simple steps why I don’t believe in cunnilingus.” – Rob Norman (Mantown)

When Matthew Landry invited me to check out his curated comedy show, Pageant Feathers, I said, “Sure, who’s playing?” He sent me the set list:

Puns of Brixton

James Gangl and Rob Baker

Sex T Rex

Becky Johnson

The Templeton Philharmonic (fresh from winning Best Comedy Duo at the LA Sketch Comedy Fest)

Mantown

Hosted by Allie Price

My first thought was, “This is all in one night?”

Normally I’d say “You had me at Mantown.” But c’mon: these are all Kick. Ass. Performers. The show did not disappoint.

“I’m like a fucking homeless Wolverine!” – Rob Baker

Highlights included Baker and Gangl as a heckling homeless guy and a metrosexual stand-up comic-slash-ice cream salesman, Sex T Rex’s uber-physical action adventure show, Callaghan!, and The Templeton Philharmonic’s spot-on skewering of “contempo” life in the big city.

With so much talent on stage, it was kind of like the comedy equivalent of watching The Stones play El Mocambo.

I asked Landry about the show.

P&C: Why did you decide to start Pageant Feathers?

ML: A bunch of reasons I guess. I was finishing up the Conversatory at Second City and wanted to stay active. The hustle to get stage time around the city can be exhausting, so it was a good way to ensure a modicum of performance time. Also, I’m still relatively new in the community and there’s so many performers I look up to – Standards and Practices, Mantown, Pondward Bound, to name a few – that it gave me a great opportunity to interact with them and more or less enjoy some sort of refracted glory. Like a talent vampire.

P&C: What’s your criteria for choosing acts?

ML: If they make me laugh, I’d love to have them. Sometimes I’m trying to balance sketch and improv acts, and sometimes I’m trying to include different styles and energies, but for the most part if they’re talented and they’re available, I’ll have them. A lot of improv shows are more for the performers than the audience, I find. It’s this wonderful, supportive tight-knit community, and that’s awesome, but sometimes it can be a bit beguiling to an outsider. I always want acts I know are going to entertain the part of the crowd who aren’t comedians.

P&C: How long have you been improvising?

ML: I’ve been improvising for about two years now. I met the rest of the Puns (Mickey and Mark MacDonald, Joe Delfin) early on in Second City and we formed our group a year or so ago.

P&C: Any other plans up your sleeve for the future?

ML: Nothing too diabolical. I perform with Marjorie Malpass in a duo (Babysitter) and we’re heading to Improvaganza in Edmonton this June. Other than that, I just want to keep improving the show, getting better as a performer and producer, and just enjoying my time. That being said, if anyone knows the gentlemen of Falcon Powder, tell them I’ve got a spot open for them anytime they’d like.

If Landry keeps booking this calibre of talent, Pageant Feathers will be the Next Big Thing in live comedy. (Are you listening, Falcon Powder?)

Like Pageant Feathers on facebook and check out past sets on their youtube channel. The next show is slated for mid June.

Photo © Christine Chew

“Can I have a vodka tonic with three shots and without the tonic please?”

“Can I get the same, but without the glass.” – Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton (The Templeton Philharmonic)

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