JFL42 has come and gone for this year, but I’m still referencing jokes I heard that week. The comedy festival that takes over Toronto annually in early fall brings internationally renowned names, but also includes events made to focus on Canadian comedians. The Sirius XM Top Comic Finale highlights our homegrown talent, and awards one hardworking comic a $25,000 prize. Torontonicity was invited to check out the finals, and may have discovered some new favourite names in the Canadian comedy scene.
If you’re not familiar with the JFL42 festival format, you can read a previous post where we breakdown the token system here. Understanding the token system is essential to making the most of your festival experience, as you’re able to very quickly schedule yourself for multiple shows with just a handful of tokens. It’s the most comedy bang you can get for your buck!
One show that I’d admittedly skipped in the past was the Sirius XM Top Comic Finale that wraps up the festival – and what a mistake I’ve been making! This year I attended the show held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place on September 26, 2019, and was treated to an entire evening of laugh out loud moments. All top ten comics perform in the one evening, so you can imagine that it’s an entire packed session!
Aside from the top ten, there was also an opening performance from the 2018 Top Comic winner: Chanty Marostica. Have you heard of them? They’re a Juno-nominated comedian who completely blew the audience away. Their set included strong political messages, as well as a velociraptor-style server at a restaurant joke – it felt like there was a little bit for everyone.
After the opening act, the top ten comics perform back-to-back! This means that for ten performances in a row you’re listening to the best jokes and bits that they’ve created because remember: they’re competing for $25,000! Some of my favourite from the top ten included Kelly Taylor, who joked about parenting and how favourites do exist, depending on behaviour – trust me, the punchline is not what you’re thinking.
Another favourite was runner-up, Sophie Buddle. Her cute voice and sweet disposition make the punch of her first joke that much more impactful. The other runner-up, Ola Dada, similarly shocked and amazed with a hilarious joke that included Serena Williams and her impressive strength. Once again, the punchline is not what you’re expecting.
Once all the comics perform, the audience (along with listeners of the live broadcasting on Sirius XM) vote for their favourite. While the votes were streaming in, the audience was treated to a headlining show: DeAnne Smith! If you’ve never seen Smith’s performances before, make sure to check her out on Comedians of the World, on Netflix. Her set at the Top Comic show included a break-up knock-knock joke about cheating – absolutely brilliant and it still makes me crack up when the mere thought of the joke enters my mind.
After DeAnne Smith was done, and the votes were tabulated, the winner was announced. Toronto’s own Adam Christie took home the grand prize that included performing spots at four JFL festivals held across Canada and internationally! Christie’s set included jokes about being a divorcee that now purchases crystals for their healing power, and many more self-deprecating lines that made the audience laugh hysterically.
Christie accepted his prize by thanking the audience and reminding everyone that the top ten comedians are all Canadian, so they don’t disappear after the festival ends. Toronto has some amazing comedy bars that regularly showcase seriously hilarious talent. So a friendly reminder (to myself as well), that just because JFL42 has wrapped for this year, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a comedy night out with friends, and keep an eye out for JFL42 passes to go on sale in 2020!