"Welcome to the Just For Laughs Alternative Comedy Tour," rang out through the Burton Cummings Theatre, followed by Nick Vatterott, the host of the evening making his way on stage. Nick begins making jokes about restaurants for about approximately ten minutes that I didn’t find too funny. I’ll admit I did chuckle at a few, so maybe I did enjoy them to some extent. Nick ended his routine by sharing a plethora of texts he and a wrong number exchanged recently. A majority of these texts are what started to give me some good laughs, just as Nick brought the first main act of the night, Rhys Darby, to the stage.
Rhys Darby is best known for his roles in Yes Man, Flight of the Conchords, Wrecked, voice roles such as Bibbly in Trolls, and Coron in Voltron: Legendary Defender. He will also be starring in the upcoming remake Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan, in theatres this December. Rhys’ routine was full of physical comedy and the use of sound effects. Rhys has the talent to do sound effects with his mouth. Rhys’ miming of a robot and his sound effects of the robot were an instant classic for me. Rhys’ miming of a robot was more robotic than an actual robot could manage. What seemed like only a matter of minutes, Rhys finished his routine.
Nick Vatterott returned to the stage for an additional five minutes. I wasn’t able to make much out of what he was saying, but it was something to do with a journal. Nick finished up quickly to introduce the man of the hour to the stage, T.J. Miller!
T.J. Miller is best known for his roles in Yogi Bear, Deadpool, Silicon Valley, voice roles such as Tuffnut Thorston in How to Train Your Dragon 1 and 2, Fred in Big Hero 6, and Gene in The Emoji Movie to name a very select few. His most recent release is his brand new and second stand-up special, Meticulously Ridiculous, on HBO. T.J. will be starring in the upcoming films, Ready Player One, Underwater, Deadpool 2, and How to Train Your Dragon 3.
T.J. Miller’s routine was something else. It was hysterical, he entertained the crowd in many ways. Telling simple jokes, using physical comedy by constantly bringing out a trombone, which he just purchased two days prior to the Winnipeg show, on stage to use as his rimshot sound effect, as well as constantly joking around with the guy working the spotlight that night. T.J. was heckled by a few people in the crowd throughout the evening, but he handled each one well and would heckle them right back.
I noticed during T.J.’s routine, he would get lost from his jokes quite easily, by just going off subject or just from all the heckling. He would noticeably try to get back to the subject he was on at some point as soon as he could. T.J. ended his routine with a little miming skit, which involved drinking and physically pouring beer all over himself.
After T.J. left the stage, a voice over the PA system announced Nick Vatterott, Rhys Darby, and T.J. Miller back to the stage. They requested the crowd to take some pictures to post on social media and posed in ways they did previously in the evening during their routines. This lasted for about two minutes before Rhys walked up to the mic, to jokingly announce he is going to be doing additional twenty minutes -not that I would've minded it. Rhys then specified, "I’ll definitely be coming back and hopefully during your Summer!"
After the show, a group of people, myself included, met Rhys Darby and T.J. Miller. Both guys were classy to their fans. They even posed for pictures with everyone, signed some stuff for some others. T.J. and Rhys took as much time as they could handle the not-so-seasonally cold wind.
In conclusion, the whole night was a blast! All the laughs I had and even getting to meet the comedians after the show was an incredible experience. I’ll be waiting over here bundled up and staying warm until Rhys Darby, and T.J. Miller make their way back to Winterpeg.