Bob Odenkirk & David Cross in Montreal

Last night we went to see The Line Up, part of this year’s Just for Laughs festival. The format was to showcase up and coming sketch comedy groups, presented by Bob Odenkirk & David Cross – who used to team up for the wonderful Mr Show.

The show was in a cramped, most likely over capacity, Kola Note which could have done with a bit more air conditioning. Luckily the comedy kept us awake for the most part. David & Bob opened the show with Bob introducing a fake ‘David Cross’ before the real David came in from the audience to reclaim his rightful place after an amazing dance off. That man sure can bust a move. They then carried out a short re-enactment of Bob’s attempt to buy coffee in a Montreal cafe, where David Cross stole the show completely with his over the top ‘Qwebetoise’ accent.

After this intro the other acts began, with Kurt & Kristen’s inspired double act of randomness. Their re-enactment of the real first ever telephone call was genius, as was our amazement at how sore Kurt’s throat must have been after his singing finale.

Next up was Hot Sauce, a trio of lads also from New York (there was a bit of NYC bias in this show). Again, very enjoyable with some planned heckling and excessive destruction of eggs before our very eyes. Without stunt doubles, amazing.

Bob & David came out for a brief interlude prior to intermission. After which they returned with David’s ‘French speaking mime’ called ‘Est le petit bonbon’, dressed as a clown and holding balloons. The sketch again revolved around Cross’ frantic movements – leaving Odenkirk mildly stunned. All this physical comedy was a great starter to the main course that was Karla, a female duo from LA with a great line in cerebral comedy. Karla was probably our favourite act all night, offering something that stood out as hilariously different and interesting, in a lineup that often seemed a bit in the same groove of east coast stylings. Go check them out if you get the chance, if just for their glove puppet morality tale.

Finally we had the Buffoons, another New York based male trio, this time with a much more physical approach to their comedy. There were some inspired moments of chicanery in their act, but for me it didn’t quite gel, although Miette loved it. They might have suffered at this point of being right at the end of a long show.

Thanks to Bob & David for a splendid evening, hope you had fun up in Montreal. Please come back soon with your own show!

Oh, and as a minor ‘celebrity’ bonus wandered past Greg Proops and Brad Sherwood (of Whose Line Is It Anyway fame) on the way out. Mr Proops looking very dapper as he grabbed a quick pre-show cigarette outside.

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