Fringe Toronto: The McComedy Show

logoI knew I’d made a good choice in seeing Shannon McDonough’s The McComedy Show when I sat down and the pre-show music was composed entirely of old TV theme songs! Ahhh, they just don’t make ’em like that anymore! I had no idea what to expect from the show itself, as I’d done no prior research about McDonough. I glanced around at the set, which consisted of a chair in front of a television screen (projected onto a larger screen), a table with a few props I couldn’t quite make out, but I was sure about the alcohol bottle, which is really all that mattered to me, anyway. It had been a long day at work.

The lights went down, and McDonough entered through the same door her audience had used, speaking on the phone to a co-worker. After discussing a bit of her frustration with being unable to create better television at work, McDonough poured herself a glass, and put her feet up in front of the TV. She flipped through the channels of banal shows, finally landing on Toddlers & Tiaras – the McComedy version.

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From there, the McComedy show (directed by Margaret Smith) weaves its way through various pre-filmed sketches mixed with live sketch performances of characters McDonough has created in between. The result is a highly enjoyable 50 minutes of some hilarious “television”, some of which I was still giggling about this morning! The transitions between the live sketches and the filmed bits were seamless, and gave McDonough the chance to make quick changes in the back before appearing as yet another fully realized character before our eyes. While her impressions of famous personalities like Roseanne Barr and Penny Marshall were spot on, eliciting a ton of laughter, my favourite parts were the live bits, with each new character being completely different from the ones before. Some of the lines were so unexpectedly funny they caught me completely off-guard, and that’s not necessarily easy to do. Each character McDonough has created not only looks and sounds different, but they are largely different types of humour, as well, which makes the 50 minutes we spend with them absolutely fly by.

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There was also some audience interaction with this one, but it’s really McDonough’s humour and talent that makes this show one to watch! Hearing other audience members singing along to the TV theme songs that were playing as we exited, as well? Priceless.

The McComedy Show is on at the Tarragon Theatre Solo Room three more times this week:

Thursday July 9th at 9:45pm

Friday July 10th at 5:15pm

Saturday July 11th at 6:15pm

Get your tickets here!

McComedy Show

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