FRANK SPADONE headlining at the Laugh Resort (370 King West) until March 26, Thursday 8:30 pm, Friday-Saturday 8:30 and 10:45 pm. $10-$15. 416-364-5233. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
The last time I saw stand-up Frank Spadone , he was opening for Italian-Australian comic Joe Avati. In front of thousands of Avati fans, he easily outclassed the headliner.
Woodbridge's funniest export has tweaked and tightened his act further, as he shows in his feature set at the Laugh Resort throughout the weekend.
Pacing the stage, his eyes darting around like a younger, heftier Michael Keaton, he's got a cocky attitude and the cleverness to back it up.
Granted, it takes him a while to find his footing. An opening bit about buying gifts and greeting cards for girlfriends fails to pay off, as does his joke about a friend buying his girlfriend breast implants. Is this misogyny? The audience can't quite tell. Bad move.
Spadone gets on track with an extended joke about the designated driver in a car full of drunk guys. After setting up the situation, he gets physical with an impression of a passenger getting closer and closer to vomiting. The scene is full of drama but it feels real, and Spadone is just young enough to get away with recounting party stories.
Come to think of it, he gets away with a lot of material that others couldn't. He exploits a friend's stuttering and takes the handicap to absurd extremes. He pulls off a couple of orgasm jokes without ever seeming crude.
But Spadone's best material concerns his family. Whether he's imitating his three sisters in the bathroom spritzing their hair or re-enacting his Italian father ordering in broken English at the McDonald's takeout counter, he offers vivid images and makes us see that the funniest moments are the most truthful.