Where was comic Mark Debonis when the news broke about the death of Osama bin Laden? He was holding a big fat cheque for $25,000, his winnings for taking the sixth annual Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh Off.
"I was born with the gift of looking high all the time and not smoking weed," said the 20-something Italian-Canadian early on in his prize-winning set. Indeed he maintained that unfazed, slightly stoned look throughout his act and even during the big announcement by Yuk Yuk's Mark Breslin.
Debonis looks and sounds imposing but has a bit of baby fat on his face and a fresh outlook on the world.
The Scarborough-born Humber Comedy School grad won over the four judges - from Conan, the Comedy Network, Chelsea Lately and Just For Laughs - with his imaginative routines about inventions, why DVD remote controls have so many keys and the dumb things that men do.
"If you don't have stupid friends," he said at one point, "then you're the stupid friend."
One of his best routines concerned what you do at a baptism.
Runner-up Eddie Della Siepe had a good set that riffed on his height, his full name (Edmundo) and the strange growth patterns of hair on his body. He took home a year's supply of toilet paper.
Two stand-ups rounded out the top four of eight finalists, and in my opinion outperformed the others. Massimo, a big, boisterous bear of a comic, blew the audience away with his cocky material making fun of Italian gangsters and his laziness at the gym.
The ultra-polished Darrin Rose, meanwhile, killed with his material about saying "I love you" and how men and women are socialized differently by the toys they play with as kids.
This is the first time the competition consisted solely of Canadian comics. The other finalists were Claire Brousseau, Bryan Hatt, Eric Andrews and Ian Peet. The show will be broadcast later this year on the Comedy Network.