Eliza Skinner
Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, June 9

By Julianna Romanyk
Published Jun 10, 2016
Eliza SkinnerComedy Bar, Toronto ON, June 9

Eliza Skinner is primarily a writer by trade; with credits for shows like The Late Late Show with James Corden and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, she’s climbed up the ladder of comedy mostly unseen. Aside from brief appearances on @midnight and a few talk shows, she’s not particularly known as a comic. Nonetheless, Skinner is definitely chipping her mark in the standup industry, primarily through her many memorable live performances across the continent. After seeing her hour in person, I can now see why Patton Oswalt and Todd Glass believe her unpredictably silly observational humour is bound to grace more stages and screens in the future.

Over the course of the night, Skinner took on very typical topics with simple but delightfully refreshing takes. She shed new light on people who insult the city she lives in by showing how awful it would be they said those things about her home, she sharply deflated the idea that Canada is more progressive than America, and she cleverly explained that dating is all about walking the line where you know someone enough to have sex with them, but not enough to know their interests that are turn-offs. Moreover, she delved into the subject of children by recounting her liberal friends’ overprotective rules for how to treat their children, and she admitted to the audience that every time she holds a baby, she secretly fears that she’ll throw it.

Best of all, Skinner told two jokes that completely flipped their premises on their heads. Her joke about how she makes up voices for animals got a hard-hitting laugh when she conceded that she would violently murder her pet cat if it suddenly started speaking in the voice she created for it. Likewise, when she addressed the dynamics between exes, she didn’t give credence to the trope that dressing sexily in front of old flames is the best revenge. Instead, she ingeniously explained to the crowd that the best form of revenge is actually to look so terrible in front of your exes that they end up feeling shame and self-hatred for ever being attracted to you.

Matt O’Brien threaded the show together with some great crowd work based on a man called Daniel in the front row who laughed ridiculously loud at everything, and ad-libbed about the projection screen on stage. With his usual off-the-wall energy, he also talked about getting married, and how holding a glass of wine affects your posture. Following him, the comparatively low energy Theresa Isis Ramirez delivered an easy but punchy one-liner about her poor taste in men, then drifted through some material about bread that was divided by the gender of their intended buyers with very uninvolved delivery. In addition, Jess Beaulieu did a great hyperbolic impression of how her frail Catholic mother reacted to her coming out a bisexual, plus she told a story about taking $20 from a man with whom she had bad sex. Unfortunately, though entertaining, the latter came off more as unlikeable than amusing.