Elvira Kurt headlines new comedy show for marginalized communities

Theres nothing funny about U of T professor Jordan Petersons transphobic speech and refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns. But a.


Theres nothing funny about U of T professor Jordan Petersons transphobic speech and refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns. But a new student-run comedy show is taking jabs at Peterson and the rise of alt-right activity on campus.

PUNDIT premieres on Friday (January 19) at U of Ts Cats Eye (124 Charles West) student lounge. Hosted by students from OPIRG Toronto and LGBTQIA+ group VicPride, the ongoing series specifically features comedians from marginalized communities.

Queer comic Elvira Kurt is headlining the first show. She has appeared on Just for Laughs, Comedy Now and the Debaters, and routinely jokes about Trump, pop culture and navigating the modern world as a lesbian mom. Kurts stand-up show Elvira Kurt: Homosexual Panic, was named one of the top-five comedy shows of 2017 by NOW stage editor Glenn Sumi.

Also on the show are DJ Mausner (winner of Just for Laughs 2017 Home Grown Comics competition), Jordan Foisy (Just for Laughs), Brandon Ash Mohammed (TVO) and Danish Anwar (The Debaters). PUNDIT is hosted by comic Sam Feldman.

Admission is by donation, with all proceeds benefiting LGBTOUT and their federal court case for LGBTQIA+ rights in post-secondary schools. Attendees can reserve tickets online in advance.

While PUNDIT may be the first queer comedy night happening on campus at U of T, there are plenty of other shows carving out space for stand-ups from marginalized groups.

SHADE a popular monthly showcase for comedians of colour, women, non-binary and queer comics that routinely sells out celebrates its one-year anniversary on Saturday (January 13). The show at the Royal Cinema features Chantel Marostica, Drag by Priyanka, Isabel Zawtun, Salma Hindy and headliner Hoodo Hersi.

Several shows at the Comedy Bar also shine the spotlight on queer and racialized comics on a regular basis. The Crimson Wave, a long-running proudly feminist comedy show, is produced by Natalie Norman and Jess Beaulieu every Sunday. Norman also hosts the monthly Taking Up Space, which promises “no rape jokes” in its mandate. Dawn Patrol, produced by queer comic Dawn Whitwell on Mondays, also always features a diverse lineup of queer, racialized and female stand-ups.

At Ill Be Seeing You, a women-run bar in Leslieville, Cara Connors produces a feminist comedy night every Tuesday. In the west end, Punch Up Comedy at the Emmet Ray on Wednesdays, calls itself a positive space comedy night and specifically encourages women and queer comics to sign up for its open mic.

You can see funny ethnic women smashing the patriarchy at Yas Kween, a monthly comedy showcase created, produced and hosted by Nelu Handa, who also runs a podcast with the same name. Yas Kween takes over Bad Dog Theatre on the first Thursday each month.

michelled@nowtoronto.com | @michdas

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