Simon King Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, April 23
By Julianna Romanyk
Published Apr 25, 2016
Despite the small crowd, Simon King performed his edgy material with enthralling passion. Enriched by his booming voice and occasional sharp impressions, his hour of densely packed rants was as caustic as it was funny.
Over the course of his headlining set, King delved into everything from the Ku Klux Klan to the pretentious state of modern activism with a winning combination of bitterness and silly hyperbole. For instance, his hilarious bit about being worn down by life principally featured a description of how dead his eyes have become, but it also included a ridiculously idealistic picture of youth as a time of life where people can get sexual favours from woodland creatures. Similarly, King’s bit about suicide began with him reflecting on his old suicide notes, but went on to become an over-the-top envisioning of a world where assisted suicide is so prevalent that people can just go around smothering strangers out of their misery with pillows.
King’s blend of ludicrousness and harshness delighted time and time again throughout the evening: namely, King found brutal funniness in a story about mercilessly fighting an elderly racist woman. Similarly, he somehow tackled several difficult topics like modern slavery and the death of his dog, who was suffering from cancer, with a healthy balance of respect and dark humour. Contrastingly, he also did a few jokes that were a bit more light-hearted: King explained his plan for the zombie apocalypse with a comical amount of detail, entertainingly spoke about the idiocy of fat people who think guns are all they need to survive, and eviscerated hot girls who are handed everything and consequently don’t develop personalities with a brilliantly keen wit.
Likewise King’s openers were also lovely. Host Blayne Smith opened the show with some observational comedy that alternated between being relatable to wonderfully crazy. Smith joked about how his long hair makes him look like a weed expert, explained that any hairstyle other than his current one makes him look like a Nazi, and told a wild anecdote about sneaking into his hotel room after getting blackout drunk and losing everything he had except his underwear. His delivery was laid-back, yet very engaging. Following him, Clare Belford did some tamer but also enjoyable material about looking like a Mormon and the fact that using an entire cabbage is her proudest accomplishment, then took a racy turn and amusingly discussed how bigger isn’t always better when it comes to penis size.