I took in the Mark Critch and Shaun Majumder show last night at the Delta, part of the Newfoundland Screech Comedy Festival.
I enjoyed the show tremendously and without reservation, but will refrain from offering a full-length review. The comedians did, however, make numerous references to the provincial media scene, and these are worthy of mention.
The boys have figured out that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, as a society, are quite media-aware. It goes hand-in-hand with our love of politics. After all, you cant get a grasp of the days political machinations without paying attention to the media scene.
There were large video screens flanking each side of the stage, and the show opened with the projection of a cover photo from a recent Newfoundland Herald, featuring Critch, Majumder and Pete Soucy (aka Snook), one of the show organizers. The cover text said they were the kings of Newfoundland comedy.
Playing on that line, Majumder and Critch took to the stretch dressed as kings, with crowns and regal robes. Sounds hokey, but the guys made it work.
If its wrote in The Herald, it has to be true, right, Majumder said (and I am paraphrasing). The Herald is the most authoritative source of information in the province.
Yeah, people laughed at that.
This morphed into a discussion about media magnate Geoff Stirling, who they said had expanded his consciousness to a point that his brain now functioned as a separate all-powerful entity, able to grant wishes to those in need of a miracle. Yeah, you probably had to be there for that one. But it was funny.
Sitting in the front row was David Cochrane, of Here Now and currently filling in as host of Radio Noon. Cochrane had Critch and Majumder on Crosstalk earlier this week, for a funny hour of radio, but thats not why he had front-row seats CBC is one of the festival sponsors.
At one point, when Critch was unsure of the detail of a particular local news event, he looked at the front row and said, Hey Cochrane, what was that story about?
Cochrane fired back a perfectly clear, capsule description. Critch did a double-take, paused a beat, and said, What are you, Google or something?
The place went up. After that, whenever a question came up that required elaboration or confirmation, Critch looked toward Cochrane and said, Lets ask Google over here.
After all this time in front of the camera, I dont know if Cochrane is even capable of blushing anymore. But if so, he was blushing last night.
Critch also lampooned the NTV Evening Newshour. He did a bang-on impression of Glen Carter, leaning one elbow on the desk, talking in a suave voice and looking ridiculously smug.
Then Critch slipped into the Fred Hutton role, and began thinking out loud: Look at that Glen Carter, with that full head of hair. Well, he aint gettin my job! No way!
These are just the media references. There were countless gut-busting laughs during the 90-minute show. If you ever get an opportunity to see these guys in action, take it.
At this point, it can safely be said they are the reigning Kings of Newfoundland Comedy.