Review: Egg Zeppelin (Bad Dog Theatre)

Laid-back improvised comedy show Egg Zeppelin returns to Comedy Bar in Toronto

There’s not much that’ll get me to venture out and about on a chilly Wednesday evening, but the promise of laughs and the possibility of bacon – the other Mooney editors know very well how much I enjoy bacon – certainly did the trick at the most recent installment of Egg Zeppelin, an improvised musical variety show that’s taken up residence at Comedy Bar.

Unsure of what to expect, I nabbed my fellow Mooney assistant editor, Katharine to accompany me. The space at Comedy Bar is a cozy one, and the audience, while not packed in to the rafters, was a fair size for a Wednesday night.

The formula for the show, despite being mostly improvised, had our hosts Kris Siddiqi and Dan Galea (standing in for Marcel St. Pierre) kicking things off with a request for an audience suggestion. A woman sitting in front of us quickly shouted “Christmas lights!” which was picked up right away, being that it was the show’s Christmas edition.

Kris and Dan took the suggestion and disappeared, leaving our funny bones in the hands of stand-up comedian Helder Brum. Brum had some zingers and some misses with his set, but rolled with our reactions like any self-respecting self-deprecating Canadian comedian might.

With our warm up complete, Dan and Kris reappeared with their improv hats on and Christmas lights on the brain. I wasn’t entirely sure what long-form improvisation was before Egg Zeppelin, having only experienced the kind you might find on Whose Line is it Anyway? or other various short form improv games. While I think it took Kris and Dan a little while to get the ball rolling with the scene – there was a lot of repetition between the two at first, which dragged on a little – it was actually really interesting to watch and funny in an easy, laid-back sort of way.

As the scene progressed, Dan and Kris were joined by musical guest Bob Wiseman and special guest performer Kurt Smeaton, who brought some wry absurdity to the scene before Wiseman’s musical interlude.

I did get a sense that the show Katharine and I saw on Wednesday seemed a little muted than what the performers are probably capable of. Maybe it was the chill in my own bones, but I’m not sure I felt that the energy level was quite there. Not to say all comedy or improv requires an in-your-face delivery, but there were some moments that felt a touch flat to me. That’s the thing about improv though, you really have no idea what you’re going to get until you sit your tush in your seat.

You’ll never have the same Egg Zeppelin experience that I did, which makes it reason enough to check it out for yourself (never mind that it’s rather affordable). Especially if you enjoy seeing local comedy in a slightly different setting than a typical stand-up performance.

This edition of Egg Zeppelin happened on December 3rd, 2012 at Comedy Bar. You can find more information and purchase tickets for upcoming performances on the Egg Zeppelin website. The next one’s a live taping in Hamilton at The Staircase on March 12th,2013.