By Justin Chandler
Riot! Comedy made audience members spill into the aisle Jan. 28, packing nearly 100 people into the Bloor street Comedy Bar for their first show of 2015.
Riot!’s members said this show was better than their previous one last semester. The group consists of students from the radio and television arts school of media.
“The worst part [of doing standup] is when you have that awkward silence when a joke doesn’t really fly as well as you want it to,” said Riot! member and second-year student Laura Del Maschio. “[But] everyone was into it right away.”
Most of Riot!’s members were inspired by personal experiences.
Third-year Anthony Gullace joked about a doctor diagnosing him as being “sort of” allergic to peanuts while second-year Victor Oly explained how he associated smelly diapers with his sister as a child.
“I never really realized how much I only thought of my little sister as a piece of shit when I was younger,” Oly said. “It’s funny looking back at your thoughts when you were younger and turning that into a bit.”
Some Riot! members like Taylor Patterson have trouble keeping their antics onstage.
“There are a lot of times where I say aggressive or douche-y things in real life which I think are hilarious, which don’t come across as well. But when I’m on stage, it comes across really nicely,” Patterson said.
Second-year student Justine Riches had her first performance with Riot! on Wednesday, motivated by fellow members to do stand-up.
“[Riot! members] said once you watch us do it you’ll be like, ‘Oh this is totally something I can do.’ I 100 per cent agree with them,” said Riches.
Most attendees were well behaved, but hecklers were louder than what performers wanted.
“Hecklers are the worst part[of doing stand-up]. Sometimes people just don’t know how to keep quiet but that’s okay,” said Oly.
Despite the commotion, Oly enjoyed the show, particularly the feedback after.
“The lights are blinding and it’s hard to hear the laughter. But afterwards, seeing everybody smile and everybody walking out of the theatre happy is probably the best part,” he said.