Andy Kallstrom and Ross Dauk hosted the evening at Little Mountain, where Jokes Please is a regular series. The pair did at least ten minutes of banter between each act. That's a lot more than I've seen at other shows, and while the chit chat wasn't always super fast-moving or scintillating, the two are so affable that you wouldn't want to pull them off the stage with a cane.
A half dozen citizens of Ross's small hometown were in attendance, enough to be a high percentage of the town's population. That made it a little harder for Ross to tell the story of his recent arrest in which he used a fake name, which belonged to the brother of one of the women in the audience. When Ross "forgot" to pay for transit because he was following a woman he wanted to meet (it sounded less creepy in person) he was busted and identified himself as "Ryan." Last name? "Hilbert!" Middle name? "Aaaah - Albert?" It did not work. Note to self.
Five comedians did short stand up bits. I especially enjoyed Ivan Decker, who is sometimes a co-host along with Andy and Ross. He was so smiley! His subject matter wasn't always terribly innovative but it was truly funny. Everyone is talking about binge watching these days but Ivan's thoughts on The Walking Dead (put on a jacket! our teeth aren't that great!) were pretty great. Sophie Buddle, whose humour comes more from her demeanor and delivery that the content was also a highlight. A few of other other acts fell pretty flat but for the most part it was a fun event.
The best part of the evening was the surprise special guest. Eddie Pepitone, in town for the his own events at the festival, performed about fifteen minutes of his act. The difference between a seasoned pro and the very lovely and for the most part very funny and talented Joke Please crew was evident. He is a real presence so it was a treat to see Eddie strut his stuff. Little Mountain is one of my favourite venues in town and Eddie did say how much he liked popping into a dim art space rather than the usual comedy clubs.