Left to right: Alastair Forbes, Ashley Comeau & Carly Heffernan
Just as the seasons change, so must the performers in the Second City mainstage company. Tonight (Sunday, December 2), three of the best SC actors in recent memory bid adieu to performing regularly at 51 Mercer.
I'll miss them all: Heffernan's articulate, highly strung characters who refuse to take bull; Comeau's sly and surprising creatures (she made huge progress over four revues); and Forbes's great physical comedy combined with impeccable delivery of his straight-man lines. Tonight at 7:30 pm, the three do their final performance of the current show, We've Totally (Probably) Got This!, followed at 9:15 pm by a free set featuring some of their favourite scenes from past revues. Before the sendoff, I decided to ask them a few questions. See listing.
All-time favourite sketch (and why)?
Forbes: Ass Camp. Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Or Sketch Artist. Also exactly what it sounds like. So I guess any scene that has a very literal title.
Comeau: A scene that never made it, called Mary Shelley's Writer's Room. It was so dark and silly. Inessa and Carly were fabulous and I got to be weird. Al was hilarious in it too with his cameo. Accents and historical pieces, what can I say? I love ‘em.
Heffernan: The first sketch that I was really proud of is called Chrismaholihanza and I wrote it in the Touring Company for their annual holiday show. It's a grab bag of POV, character, song and ridiculousness. I love it.
What will you miss most about Second City?
Forbes: The amazing people. Cast, crew and staff alike. There's no greater place in the world to work if you're really into great friendships and sexual harassment. I've had my balls touched in a friendly manner so many times that I get it confused with a regular handshake.
Comeau: My Second City family that I get to see daily - the front of house staff, cast, crew, etc. I'll also miss pooping in the "non-poop" washroom to piss Al off.
Heffernan: Performing for hundreds of people every night that I didn't have to bust my lady balls to get out to the theatre.
What won't you miss?
Heffernan: Jason DeRosse, he's the devil.
Forbes: The cotton candy, the bouncy castle dressing room and the time machine.
Comeau: Losing at poker night.
If the bar could name a drink after you, what would it be called... and what would be in it?
Comeau: It would be called a Comeausexual. It would consist of diet Pepsi and raspberry vodka.
Forbes: The Reach Higher. The drink would be whatever you wanted but with a straw so tall that you had to stand up on a chair to drink from it.
Heffernan: It exists! It's called the Heffernan Special and it's a heaping glass of their cheapest white wine.
If you could come up with a punny Second City-style title for your time there, what would it be?
Heffernan: Lock, Stock And Too Many Smoke Breaks. Or: To Klaus Schullerm Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.
Forbes: The Second City Rocks, or Why You Should Always Have Earthquake Insurance.
Comeau: Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lives). My dreams came true and now I'm on to my other lives. Christ, I'm a Hallmark card.
Most awkward audience-participation moment?
Forbes: Has to be when a wonderfully drunk young lady in the front row yelled/slurred at me while I was speaking in a scene: "You got a big dick in those pants. I want that cock!" She then spilled her red wine. Then left. That actually happened. Pretty much left me speechless.
Comeau: A very handsome Irishman proposed to me during the "Bus" sketch. He took me completely by surprise, and I started laughing and breaking character and tearing up. Half of the audience could tell I was getting verklempt and started applauding thinking maybe it was real. I had to wipe away tears and get back to the scene. It was super romantic (albeit a joke), and very awkward too, because the audience didn't know what the scene was really about anymore.
Heffernan: In my second show I would toss a fake baby into the audience. One night I hit a lady right in the face. In my defense she made zero attempt to catch the baby and it was a very soft fake baby. She, and a solid portion of the audience, did not like me after that.