Collins Talks Comedy with Joel West

Joel West is one of the driest comedians I have ever seen. Really dry comics terrify me; what if I can’t tell if I’m being made fun of? I’m 100% sure Joel is always making fun of me.

Joel West - Facebook

You’re one of the best in the biz at a Rob Ford joke, and I wanted your take on the following scenarios: a) The tape of Ford smoking crack is found, he is dismissed as Mayor, and may not run again. What are you going to do? and b) The tape of Ford smoking crack is found, but literally nobody cares except some lefty downtown people and so nobody does anything about it. What are you going to do?

First, thank you for the compliment. Appreciated, and all that stuff. As to our illustrious Mayor, His honour, Robert Bruce Ford, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. Stinking fish. Week old fish, stinking of decay and neglect. You get my drift. The issue for me isn’t just the crack video, it’s the man himself. Here is a guy with an arrest record in Florida, an arrest he denied that happened, and yet he was elected mayor. What can you say about a man who was sentenced to community service, who was charged with assault, who was charged with assaulting his wife and with uttering a death threat? (Both charges were withdrawn).

Some might call the man a thug who believes he can do what he wants with impunity. Others might call him misunderstood. Still, when asked about the DUI he says he forgot that it happened. Here is a man who was arrested and charged with DUI and with possession, who according to court records threw money at the ground, who demanded to be arrested, whose breath smelled of alcohol and who now denies smoking crack. Of course he’s qualified to be mayor.

One of my favourite things about stand-up is that first-timers share open mic stages with legends. It’s like when you’re working on material, you always have to go back to the smaller rooms. Why do you think it works out that way?

The reason that first timers need spots is because they need to find out what is funny. The reason ‘seasoned legends’ need spots is the same. It’s all theoretically funny until it comes out in front of an audience. As the late ‘legend’ Lenny Bruce said: The audience is a genius. By this I think he meant that while individually our tastes are different, collectively the audience knows what is funny. When I’m writing a bit, I may think it’s funny, but after listening to an audience I may have found other laugh points.

That’s why it’s important to do what we do.

Please tell lazy downtowners why they should make the very tiny effort to come out East to your great room.

First of all, thanks for calling the room great. There is some sort of magic at the Red Rocket that you don’t get in a dingy bar. It’s a coffee shop. It is licensed for beer and wine, but because of the intimate atmosphere when the show is on, it’s about the show, not about serving booze.

When the show is over (usually by 9:30) there is still loads of time to do other things. So it’s worthwhile to make a detour and see a free comedy show.

Aside from that, some of the guests we have booked or who have dropped by have been on Comedy Now, Comics, and Just For Laughs. You get to see them for free.

Joel books Comedy At The Red Rocket every Saturday and the first Friday of every month. It’s a fantastic room located at 1364 Danforth Avenue.

About Matt Collins

Matt Collins is a musician (Ninja High School), cartoonist (Sexy), jock (Manhunt), and comedian (Matt Collins) in Toronto, Ontario. Please buy more Matt Collins. [Other Posts By Matt]