tim steeves headlining at the Laugh Resort (370 King West) through November 24, Thursday 8:30 pm, Friday-Saturday 8:15 and 10:30 pm. $10-$15. 416-364-5233. Rating: NNNN
tim steeves is redefining the role of the angry young stand-up.The current headliner at the Laugh Resort can deliver a line like "You guys are awesome!" and make it sound like a compliment and an insult.
The former New Brunswicker's mantra is "Meet me halfway," the words of someone who's fed up with the world's idiocies and absurdities.
At the outset of his 45-minute set, he targets innocent subjects like Costco, KFC and curling. Nothing remarkable here. But line by line he picks away at these themes like scabs, gradually revealing the massive stupidities, wasted time and money and little pretensions that fill our lives.
Steeves has an electric, nervous presence -- onstage, he's constantly moving, pacing, snarling and playing with the mike. In a sense, he's the opposite of cool, but his jokes nearly always hit their mark.
A writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, he unexpectedly avoids politics but does have a gag or two about racism in the U.S. His targets are social: trying to quit smoking, deciding whether golf is a sport or a game, decoding commercials and the "may contain nudity" warnings on foreign films.
His shtick works because the material feels honest. He doesn't censor his imagination. He lets us enter every twisted, surreal corner of his mind. And it's definitely a worthwhile trip.
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