Review: The Meme-ing of Life (Second City)


Something for everyone in Second City Toronto’s latest Mainstage Revue, The Meme-ing of Life

I am not someone who gets Internet jokes. I know a little about grumpy cat, I’ve seen a few of those talking dog YouTube videos, but a lot of internet humour goes over my head. That poptart kitty? I don’t get it. I still have to mentally correct myself from saying me-me whenever I read the word meme.

I was worried that my handicap might hinder my experience of Second City’s new Mainstage Revue, The Meme-ing of Life.

But if you are as out of the e-loop as me, fear not! Turns out the show, save one skit, is really less about Internet jokes and more about how – as the title suggests – comedy memes life by imitating it. 

And The Meme-ing of Life imitates without ridiculing, which I really appreciate in comedy. It’s too easy to make something funny by making fun of it. All of the show’s skits take little moments out of life and reveal the humour inherent in them. Rather like the meme’s we pass around.

Overall, I found the show really enjoyable. The jokes felt seamless, well rehearsed, excellently performed, and much appreciative laughter from the audience confirmed this. My plus one for the night had already seen the show in earlier stages and was excited to return, laughed as much of the rest of us despite knowing many of the punch lines.

There is something a little surreal about going to see a Second City show – it’s a stage with a lot of history. I couldn’t help but wonder who up there might be our next great Canadian comedians.

While I thought each member of the cast brought their own important presence to an ensemble that worked really well together, I did have a favourite. Several of Stacey McGunnigle’s characters really stood out to me – the inebriated mom, the angsty pre-teen boy, the Serious Dancer. She reminded me a little of Catherine O’Hara.

The Meme-ing of Life is comedy rooted in the cultural moment that makes good use of timeless themes and classic characters. I think there is something for everyone here.


  • The Meme-ing of Life plays at Second City (51 Mercer St.) until the end of June, 2013
  • Shows run Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 10pm, and Sunday at 7:30pm
  • Tickets are $24-$29 with limited student prices (except Sat 7:30 performance)
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by visiting the box office (51 Mercer St.) or by calling 416 343 0011

Photo by Dan Abramovici; Callback Headshots