It felt very illicit to be walking through the Just For Laughs festival with a bag of pies. Luckily I had an artist pass so I didn’t have to explain to the nice volunteer at the entrance why I was bringing three fruit pies and a roll of paper towels into the festival. Although I guess she wouldn’t have questioned it, I imagine they’re looking more for pointy-glassy-hurty things.
It is a testament to how weird the JFL festival is that nobody looked twice at Mike’s ultimate warrior face-paint as we made our way through the crowd to the outdoor stage. The show is called 8 Smiles, it’s a comedy-battle (as opposed to rap-battle) contest where comedians compete with jokes for the right to wear the championship belt for about fifteen minutes, and then give it back – they only bought one belt.
Mike Paterson is no stranger to championship belts, as a rabid wrestling fan with a lifetime of involvement in the independent wrestling scene in Montreal Mike is used to coveting the belt. In fact I’m starting to think it may have been ill-advised to throw Mike into a competition that involved a championship belt. It might have caused a bit of testosterone-fueled mania in the self-proclaimed most electrifying entertainer of his generation. The proof is walking right next to me in full wrestling regalia, boots, tights, mesh shirt, and face paint.
The plan was not to lose at any cost. Mike had cobbled together some killer wrestling-themed jokes earlier that day with the help of his similarly wrestling-obsessed friend Nathan Macintosh and actual wrestler The Green Phantom. Grabbing the crowd’s attention with his outlandish appearance and clobbering them with his jokes about wrestling, Mike planned to put the finishing move on the crowd by offering that if they cheer loudest for him he would let the host of the show, Eddie King, throw a pie in his face. The other two pies were for the next round of the competition.
Mike’s first competitor was his best friend Tim Rabnett, who he knew would be amenable to the fun and hijinks. Mike figured there was no way he could lose if he offered the crowd the opportunity to see a fat man pie’d.
The thing is, you never know what is going to happen at a comedy show when pies are involved.
Next:Montreal Fringe 2006: The Three-Pie Night