The Nasty Girls
Show type: Montreal 2008
Brace yourselves to get down and dirty with some of comedy’s fiercest females when the Nasty Show hands the mic over to the ladies for the very first time!
Male comics have long indulged their filthy material in Nasty Shows here in Montreal, but now it’s the women’s turn in The Nasty Girls. Or, as it should be dubbed, The why-bother-to-write-any-jokes-when-just-saying-‘pussy’-is-enough-for-a-laugh show.
Don’t for a moment think this new showcase is a blow for empowerment and liberation. Several of the acts, including MC Cheryl Underwood, spoke about how the way to keep your man is not to talk to him, and provide frequent snacks and blow jobs. You go, girl!
The atmosphere is raucous, with shrieks and hollers of mock-outrage greeting several of the below-the-belt topics. This is what the audience clearly want, even if there’s a distinct lack of ambition in how to approach it, with the same sentiments popping up across several acts.
Most of the acts were over-40, single and bitter, so bitched at the younger women in the audience for their pertness, reminding them acidly how it would soon all go south. Distractedly painting your nails or examining the ceiling while your man gets to work, or blokes falling asleep after their job’s done were also among the topics that came back time and again.
What she lacked in originality, Underwood made up for in feisty spirit, exploiting and enhancing the already febrile atmosphere, by offering to screw anything that moved. She didn’t use the word screw, but I want this page to have some chance of getting through the parental control filters… Later, she brought a serious message to her later material, too, some of which had a levity which sat uncomfortably with the energy of the night – although she managed to make her advice on avoiding potential ‘ass-whuppers’ funny.
Glamorous Lynne Koplitz combined largely route-one material, much of it about short dicks, with a lot of woolly chit-chat, although a gloriously inappropriate routine about being raped by under-endowed men was audacious and shockingly funny, but sadly not representative of her set as a while.
Spite-filled Paula Bel moaned about the gay men who have ‘infested’ her apartment building in a set that was heavy on anger, short on laughs, and desperately propped up with as many as four expletives within six words. This isn’t the place to get prudish over language, I know, but if the content was strong I wouldn’t have noticed it. She, too, had just the one good joke. And, worryingly, this too was about rape.
Tiffany Haddish jollied up her set with a spirited, animated performance, waving her bits at the audience, miming sexual practices with exaggerated vigour and vividly demonstrating how to deal with embarrassing itchiness. It’s no surprise to learn that she’s a dancer, too as her well choreographed physicality contributes a lot to her vibrant act. Her material sometimes falls into the same traps as the others, but there’s a playfulness to her style that softens it nicely - and the midget porn segment is entertainingly silly.
Likewise, fast-talking Patty Rosborough had straightforward material about growing old disgracefully, but delivered it with some style. Typical is her routine about the voice in the GPS machine giving directions during sex. It pretty much writes itself, but Rosborough injects some wit, verve and attitude into the telling.
This is, after all, a show that exists on gutsy attitude alone, even though more variety and originality wouldn’t go amiss. All the acts exploited the audience’s Pavlovian stimulus response – just mention something filthy with enough sass, and wait for the guffaws. Unedifying, but sadly effective.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Montreal, July 2008
Date of review: Jul 2008