TALK DIRTY TO ME: Bobby Slayton calls a cunt a cunt
A friend of mine once argued that going out on New Year’s Eve is too sincere an attempt at a good time. It’s as though you’re admitting that the rest of the year will suck, so you’re going to party now.
The Nasty Show — a gala featuring comedians rifling off racy, edgy, offensive material — is similarly earnest. But attending the show is, more than anything, a statement: you unabashedly favour crass, vulgar humour, and, good taste be damned, you’re going to see it performed.
Then again, what is nasty? Is it scatological humour, or is it jokes about blowjobs? How about a healthy smattering of misogyny, or even a light-hearted take on rape?
Judging by the performers at this year’s edition of what has long been Just For Laughs’ most popular gala, it’s all of those. And it was funny, though inconsistently so. Slayton, the evening’s host, offered an uninspired suggestion to those in need of blowjobs — stick your dick in your wife’s mouth while she puts her eye make-up, he quipped — and boasted of using the word cunt within two minutes of taking the stage.
Floridian Mike Lawrence, easily the funniest comic on the bill, defended Quebec’s tuition protesters — who Slayton tore into — and explained why the sight of a bald man masturbating is so creepy: it’s like he’s choking a smaller version of himself.
Paula Bel, the night’s lone female performer, was sadly its worst, resorting to tired lines about how younger women in the audience would resemble her in 20 years. Ben Roy, however, picked things up with a defense of his happy marriage, and Mike Wilmot closed with, among other bits of wisdom, a deadpan take on why shitting oneself is hilarious. Which it is. Unfortunately, not all of the Nasty Show was. ■