Views from the Road – Toronto

Over the next 3 months I will be on the road across Canada mostly with some time in Miami, drugs where we have a home & I perform at the Improv.

Next 3 months will consist of 2 weeks in Toronto, story 2 weeks in Ottawa, salve 2 weeks in Winnipeg, 1 week in Kingston, 1 week in Regina (will feel like a week), a Corporate in Calgary,  Corporate in Toronto, 3 Fundraisers in Montreal & a week in Miami.

I will transmit my thoughts, experiences & insights for all to provide an insight into the life that is, Comedy. A great way to not make a lot of $$.

As I head off on the drive to Toronto, I think, “Don’t work hard, it’s a lie. Work Smart so you never have to work hard a day in your life.”

Meanderings as I drive:

Before even the Charter of Rights is released I am thinking; is ‘the finger” a religious symbol? No?  I guess I can still legally give it to you my dear PQ.

Question: Why do Loblaws & Provigo bother printing 2 different flyers when all the products are the same? Save the planet & give consumers some credit – 1 flyer svp.

Babies smell amazing … Mostly

Joke: By the way, in case you did not realize, it is never a good idea to tell A COP when he stops you: ” I see you are keeping busy but WHAT HAPPENED to the rest of your band, the VILLAGE PEOPLE?” … Gotta go they are confiscating my phone. C u all in 5-7 days …

I miss my son: Why do we ever grow up? My son’s early morning feeding routine consists of:. Drink 10min. Burp. Nap 5-10min Drink. Burp. Change Diaper. Drink. Burp … Option Play or More Nap. You try to top that today …

My son & I have a routine: he yawns, I fall asleep.

Pauline Marois is the French Sarah Palin – uninformed, unsophisticated & bigoted. A chez nous embarrassment …

I just got a Facebook request to like a page called: “I wish cancer did not exist.” come on people! We need a page for the obvious? Cancer is horrible & we all know it but stop dumbing everything down. Please ‘like’ if you think Oxygen is important …

I am an atheist & this Charter will make me become religious. DO NOT tell people who or how they can worship. We tolerate and eventually people will become Canadian (oops I mean, no fuck it, I mean Canadian). The BEST way to make sure I retain my Italian values is to tell me I CANNOT be Italian. Pauline you are SHAMEFUL.

In theory, a secular society makes sense however this law is pernicious, petty & divisive. This is NOT how you build a great society. In concrete terms, STEP 1 REMOVE the CRUCIFIX from the National Assembly then I will believe in their “secularism”. Until then it is just WE (les de souches) were here 1st so we make the rules …. By the way, ask the First Nations who was really here 1st?

You know you’re no longer in Quebec when you see a humongous Canadian Flag off the highway — at the Cornwall Square.

Toronto, I am in you:

Made it w. 31 min to show time :) I am often Mr. Last Minute — at Absolute Comedy Toronto.

Sick Sold Out Open Mike Night! — with Jon Malanos a Montreal comic who just moved to Toronto. Like this month. He is way too handsome to do comedy, I have told him. Absolute Comedy Toronto.

After the first show, I should be sleeping! I thought Toronto folks were not night owls. Last night, hardly slept due to newborn. Drove all day. Made it just in time. Emceed a great show and made the mistake of accepting a few drinks from a really nice amateur comic & an audience member. Now it is close to 4am & we are scoffing pizza while they hang on my every word, as though I matter, while I dream of sleep. — at Big Slice.

I have a new born & am on the road touring. I figure as much as I will miss him I will at least get to sleep in. What a fool I am. The Comedy Club Condo has 1 parking spot. The comic I am sharing the condo with arrived before me. Took the 1 spot.
I will have to get up every morn at 6am to register at the visitors parking so I can stay parked for free. DAMN YOU Philly comic & overpriced MidTown Toronto Condo Parking Spots!!!

I decided not to bring my wife, although I love having her. We get to go out to dinner, discover the cities. It is like being on a paid vacation! With the newborn I thought it would be unprofessional. As the club provides us with a great condo that we share.
My wife is less than pleased but understands. I arrive, go to place my key in the door, a beautiful young lady opens door with a Shiatzu.  He brought his girl & his dog !!!!

Every comic I tell laughs & then freaks out, least I am not alone. Well I am as my wife & baby boy are in Montreal. At least I have my professionalism to keep me warm …

So I am in the heart of Toronto at the start of my tour. I always proudly say I am from Montréal at every show on every stage I perform. Last night, I had several people tell me after the show: “You must be glad to be here where it is safe.”. They were being cute but it made me oh so SAD. PQ you are Shameful. I feel we are in a bad fascist dream. — at Yonge & Eglinton.

Doing at podcast w. the fabulous Marth. Social networking and on-line presence. You are always working as a comic. — with Martha O’Neill at Green Screen Studios.

Getting the Corporate treatment with one of my oldest & dearest friends. Well he is old & I am dear ;) — with Bill Lecomples at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar – Yonge & Eglinton. My buddy is in from Montreal on business & we are bonding without the wives

Thurs night not sold out but twice as crazy good! — with Martha O’Neill and Mark DeBonis at Absolute Comedy Toronto. Plus Bill brought his Corporate clients & they really liked the show, or just being out on a school-night. Ahhhh the life of white-collar middle managers.

Tonight a man came up to me after the show. He said: “I have never been to a comedy show before but I will go again because of you”. Some moments define a life. Now I am at a place with the worst name smiling about it. — at Philthy McNasty’s (Yonge & Eglinton).

When on the road we stay in some bad motels; nice hotels & the best clubs put us up in Condos, like Absolute here in Toronto & Ottawa. They all have rules. My fave is the last one: “You are NOT a Rock Star, do not act like one.” On that note, the Hookers & Heroin in my condo beg to differ
Ed Note: there are no hookers just my buddy Bill from Montréal & instead of heroin, we have Doritos… But that’s almost the same right bro — with Bill Lecomples at Yonge & Eglinton.

Friday, I’ve got a crush on you. — at Yonge & Eglinton. No matter where in the world, Friday’s rock!

Oh by the way, guys when your wife, girlf, partner, baby-mamma leaves you alone with your child. You are not babysitting. It your kid … You are PARENTING.

If u r going to eat here it helps to have a best friend from Hellas! Ouzo shots ordered. — with Bill Lecomples at Greek Town.
The Danforth is one of my fave Greek Town in North America. Picked a great authentic restaurant. How did we survive without Google & the Internet in the past.

Why I love our Canada so much. We are at an authentic classic Greek restaurant & are being served by an amazing Vietnamese server who flamed our Saganaki like a native of Athens! Viva Multiculturalism!!!! —  at Avli Restaurant.

Ooooo the morning after the night before. Yes, I am aware 1:15pm is not technically still morning. Sometimes you just have to go for a run to apologize to your body — at Yonge & Eglinton.

Saturday in Sunny T-dot: Beautiful late summer afternoon with a retractable roof that actually works!! Now if only it was on natural grass, no not that kind — at Blue Jays Game @ Rogers Centre.

For those who know me I am often late & even more often wrong, ask my wife. I thought game was at 4:30 so I showed up after the game started. You know, when Scalpers get nervous. So I got an 85$ TD Lounge seat for … 20$ baby! Cash baby, Sconto Villeray Style. REPRESENT — at Rogers baseball Stadium, Toronto Canada.

Last Blue Jays World Series = Last Habs Stanley Cup. Interesting. People tell me I have too much time on my hands

“Deux show à soir icitte.” Wonder how many people in the audience would understand this ;) — at Absolute Comedy Toronto. I love that I come from a bilingual & multicultural city & that I speak 4 languages. Well actually am fluent in 3. I am not fluent in Spanish, just speak enough of it to get laid in the Dominican. Like 3 words & 2 of them are T-shirt :)

Sold out of CD’s for the weekend! Thank You Toronto!! I really should have brought more. The Comic I am performing with is so slick & smooth at selling them. I tell him this, I mean it with props. He looks at me & says: “I have to be, I am desparate.” Maybe my lack of smoothness is ok …
One more show domani. I will tell the audience “You can buy me a drink instead.” — at Absolute Comedy Toronto.

The Charter: This law LEGITIMIZES intolerance. It is shameful. All those little racists will feel EMPOWERED to attack: verbally, virtually or even physically – it WILL happen.
It will backfire. “The best way to ensure someone keeps being something it to tell them they cannot be that.” Franco T

ComicCon? You realize you are adult men right? If I see one more picture of a 40 year old w. a pot belly in tight Green Lantern outfit I may start doing heroin.

This is how you know a city is not just doping well but BOOMING. They are tearing down a magnificent early 20th Century (I never said they had soul) building to build a 35 storey 300 appartments w. 8 friggin’ floors of parking!!! You ever see that in Montréal, Pauline?

I am looking over a shop called the Pleasant Pottery thinking, the only way this could ever be “pleasant” is if they allowed me to break them all — at Mount Pleasant Village.

Sunday show. Get away day! One more in the rain — at Absolute Comedy. They can be a chore but wow what a weekend & I notice my Comment Card scores were through the roof!

On that note, Jason the owner is a great Comedy Club manager. He has a formula & replicates it.. He is now at 3 clubs & on his way to an empire. As a comic, he was always had the best business acumen & has been able to apply all the good & eliminate all the bad he saw in 15 years of being a touring comic, good on him.

He has “Comment Cards” so comics cannot delude themselves. Empirical proof of whether the audience liked you are not. Not foolproof but better than going by instinct or gut or guessing.

As I leave right after showtime. I had packed before … No leaves on the ground yet in Toronto. That’s ONE for Toronto!

I truly enjoy this city. It is not, for better or for worse, Montreal. But it is a vibrant growing metropolis. Montreal is def the reason it become #1, with all our nonsense, but it has run with it & growing into it’s leadership role nicely.
The bagels are still crap & not one Italian-Toronto seems to actually speak Italian so it will never be as cool as or have the soul of Montreal. But it works.
Why I am an idiot: #43: I left immediately after my last show. I drove all night as I missed my family ESP my lil’ 7 week old. I get home at 4:30 then spent most of day sleeping . As I had driven all night. DUMMY!

But it is great to be home for awhile … hug my wife, talk to my sons & kiss the heck out of my new-born.

My week in the Big Smoke …

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