JFL REVIEW: “Are there only white people here?”
If there’s only one show you can watch during Just for Laughs, let it be the Ethnic Show. Hosted by Alonzo Bodden, the show features Frank Spadone, Rachid Badouri, Dan Naturman, Gina Yashere, Ahmed Ahmed and Ronny Chieng.
Alonzo, surprised by the lack of different ethnicities in the crowd, opens by saying, “Are there only white people here?”
He does a great job. He engages with the audience, especially the people in the front row who show up late. When an audience member tells him she’s French Canadian, he answers, “You know this show is in English, right?”
Frank Spadone, gets on stage first and talks about his typical Italian family, especially his wife and in-laws. “If I wasn’t a man, I’d be a tree,” he says since women are too complex for him.
Rachid talks about his venture in comedy on the English side and how his name is always screwed up by non-Francophones. Once a host called him “Ratchet.”
In his schooldays, he remembers being the only Arab kid as the only two other kids he hung out with were Black and ginger; “We were the evolution of rust.”
Gina Yashere definitely steals the show joking about her sexuality. “Me and a penis in a room, it’s like a scene out of the Matrix,” she says, mimicking the famous scene where Neo bends backwards to dodge bullets. She talks about her trip to Nigeria to find her roots until she realizes her roots are actually in the U.K. She says if the Nigerian police had CSI, it would be known as “Cannot Solve It.”
Alonzo talks U.S. vs Canada politics; on Obamacare, he shares a conversation with his doctor who told him: “If you feel sick, get in your car right away because your car insurance is better than your health one.”
“I’m Arab too but unlike Rachid, I’m Muslim, boom!” says Ahmed Ahmed who is disappointed the media doesn’t portray good-looking and tanned Arabs like him. He mentions he’s recently single and will date women older than him (he’s in his 40s). He dated a woman in her 20s who was constantly pouting and always saying: “I’m cold, hungry and tired.” He realizes: “I didn’t know I was dating Gollum!”
Ronny Chieng is the last comedian on stage. Originally from Australia, his parents are of Chinese origins. People often ask him, “What do your parents think about you being a comedian?” He explains: “They don’t ask white comedians that question because they know their parents don’t love them.”
The Ethnic Show // July 8 to 19 // 7:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. // $42.91-$60 + taxes // Club Soda (1225 St. Laurent Blvd.) // Website