Posts tagged Mantown comedy

When one of Canada’s longest-running improv teams-slash-shows makes changes, it’s big news.

When one of those changes involves adding more X chromosomes to a show called Mantown, it’s even bigger.

Founded in 2006 by Adam Cawley, Jason DeRosse and Rob Norman, along with former Big City Improv Festival Artistic Director, Bob Banks, Mantown has been hosted by Rob Baker for the past seven years.

Now some of Toronto’s rising stars are joining in the debauchery: Sharjil Rasool (Second City Touring Co), Andrew Bushell (Bamboo Kids Club, Fake Cops), Carson Gale (Moist Theatre), Leanne Miller (Bae Watch, Abra Cadaver), Geoffrey Cork (Orson Whales) and Noemi Salamon (Chakra Khan, Orson Whales).

We trust that they’re all legal drinking age.

You can enter the city of Mantown the first Friday of every month, 10:30 pm at Comedy Bar.

Image © Mantown

Image © Mantown

In just one month, Big City Improv Festival will blast off at Toronto’s Comedy Bar. Check out the stellar line-up headlined by Jet Eveleth and Paul Brittain. For more information, click below.

Move over CIF, DCM and Out of Bounds.

You’ve heard of comedy in threes? Try a trio of improv festivals…all in Toronto.

This year marks the first annual Big City Improv Festival at Comedy Bar, October 15 – 20. Impatient Theatre Co’s Toronto Improv Festival meanwhile, runs from October 22 – 28.

That leaves one day in between.

It was a day of laughterlessness that Standards & Practices couldn’t let go unfilled. And so the October 21st Greater Toronto Improv Festival was born.

According to their facebook page, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the festival. While information has been cryptic until now, they just announced that improv heavy hitters Mantown and Falcon Powder will be performing. What started as a joke just got real, yo.

Some people are already calling it Toronto’s second-best improv festival. Only time will tell.

“The festival between festivals” takes place at Unit 102 on – you guessed it – Sunday, October 21st.

We can’t wait.

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)


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?)

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)

Imagine a place where beer flows like water, fearlessness is a way of life, and shirtlessness is always an option.

Welcome to Mantown, an improvised frat party featuring Adam Cawley, Bob Banks, Jason DeRosse and Rob Norman.

What began as a side project has turned into one of Toronto’s longest-running comedy shows. They perform to packed houses the first Friday of each month at Comedy Bar, from 10:30 p.m. till the last person is wheeled out from an overdose of awesomeness.

We caught up with them to talk about improvising, childhood heroes, and vuvuzelas for the inaugural All In interview…