Captain’s Blog: The year, 2014, the crew is about to discover uncharted territory as Critch, Kent and Majumder make their way to the studio for CBC’s season finale of 22 Minutes.
The audience is anxious, waiting for something funny to happen, the actors read their lines, laughter ensues. My first conclusion of the night is that yes, alien life does exist in this quadrant. These special earthlings called “comedians” make reference to Harper, Ford and Marois as if they came here from some other planet. I am amused and fascinated by the short clips that keep unfolding before me. My favorite line of the night was in reference to a man they call Shatner, and I loosely quote, “William Shatner is set to market a new line of women’s jeans called (and say the rest out loud for the full effect) SHATNER PANTS! It was the joke that kept on giving for the rest of the night.
My Captain Kirk impression may not be the best but for some reason that silly little joke stuck with me after last night’s taping of one of my all time favorite shows, 22 Minutes. I had the privilege of sitting in the audience last night after my wonderful friend Kim got us tickets for a girls night out. Any night out with my friend Kim is always fun but last night was extra special as I got to cross off one of my things to do before I move west. I have lived in Nova Scotia for 11 years and have only had the opportunity to go to one other taping in the past and I desperately wanted to go again before my big move.
The evening did not disappoint. The studio audience was intimate and the cast and crew had such a sense of ease about them that I felt like part of the 22 Minutes family. The free wine at the door also helped but hey that’s show business for ya. I only sipped a little as I spilled most of it in my usual clumsy way while I made my way to my seat for the night. It wasn’t the most comfortable chair I ever sat in but it was good enough for me as I soon forgot about my discomfort as the laughter took over. They played their filmed skits as the actors found their comfort and sound levels for the evening. The skits are always enjoyable and you will get to see them tonight once it airs but the most enjoyable part of the evening were the in between bits where the actors bantered back and forth with one another and the audience. The Shatner Pants joke had a life of its own throughout the evening as the line grew from pants to Shatner Shorts, and Shatner Skirts.
Mr. Majumder is the master of getting the laughs in between taping segments. Him and Ms. Kent played off one another like a well oiled machine. Mr. Mark Critch is usually along for the ride and often steers the ship himself but last night he had a special bit to get ready for as rumors of a surprise guest was circling the air. I couldn’t wait to see who it would be.
Another favorite moment, although I will say it was too short a stint, was when Dame Cathy Jones came on stage to tape a short news item with Susan Kent. I call her Dame as she is comedy royalty in my books. God it was so hard not to stand up and do my impression of the Friday Night Girls. “It’s Friday night, let’s break out da Barbie’s Cathy.” I said it in my head but so badly wanted to shout it from my seat. Her presence gave me goose bumps. If I ever got a hold of her I would squeeze the shit out of her, I loves her I do.
And just when I thought my cheeks couldn’t stand any more from being in the up right position, out came the surprise guest, or shall I say guests, Rob and Doug Ford. I have purposely not bought into watching any of the Ford antics as it makes my eyes roll but its hard not to hear the endless parade of jokes that surround these creatures from the Planet of the Apes. However, last night I gave my eye rolling a rest and allowed myself to enjoy the wonderful impression that Mark Critch did of the Mayor of Toronto. But what I really enjoyed the most was the fact that Mark McKinney played Doug Ford. And there it was, comedy gold right in front of me. I am a big Kids on the Hall fan for sure so what a treat it was to watch another one of my favorites perform. They ended the night with a chicken wing and a crack pipe, need I say more.
As the cast and crew wrapped for the season they still took the time to stay and mingle with all their fans. During the last taping I attended I was too shy to stick around and shake hands with the gang but this time I let go of all that and said, “Frack it, I am going in.” That was when I got to taste the icing on the cake. And here is where I have a confession to make. I have secretly been infatuated with Shaun Majumder for years. When I first moved to Toronto from Newfoundland back in the early 90’s I had a severe case of the homesick blues. Things were not going well for me but one afternoon while sulking because I still did not have a job, I turned on the TV and there he was, “a little brown Newfie” as he called himself and he made me laugh so hard for the first time in weeks that I couldn’t help but fall in love with him. No need to sound the alarms or anything, my husband of 11 years is aware of my silly crush and accepts its fully. We both have our lists. But back to the icing that I was telling you about. You see I have had the pleasure of working with the lovely and talented Susan Kent myself during our theatre school years. Susan was and still is one of the loveliest people you will ever meet. Whenever she was around everyone in the room was happy to have her there and last night was no different. When I approached her after the show she instantly remembered me and then proceeded to hug the beans out of me, and I her. As we posed for a picture together with the other cast members we briefly chatted as she introduced me to her new crew. When I turned to leave Shaun was right there and as I went in for a simple squeeze he planted one on my cheek and I thought I was day dreaming again. But no, my friend Kim was there too and she confirmed that yes, Shaun Majumder kissed me and yet another item got scratched off my Nova Scotia bucket list.
Thank you Kim and 22 Minutes for a lovely night out. I hope you all enjoy the show tonight when it airs on CBC.